Dismal Jobs Data, WMT Earnings Send Dow Plummeting

A round of disappointing jobs data, paired with a weak 2022 forecast from blue-chip retailer Walmart (WMT) is pouring cold water on stocks this afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIis down roughly 213 points. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPXand Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also eyeing sizeable drops, with the former taking a hit as Big Tech begins to sell off.

Attention is also being turned to this week's unusual winter weather in Texas, which has sent oil and gas prices surging. Meanwhile, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) continues to grind higher, stoked by anxieties over the recent rise in U.S. bond yields and inflation expectations. 

midday stats feb 18

Ageagle Aerial Systems Inc (NYSE: UAVSis seeing a surge in bearish activity in its options pits today. The shares were down 16.6% at $11.75 at last check, after Bonitas Research said it shorted the stock. The security breached the 20-day moving average -- a trendline that helped guide it to a Feb. 10, record high of $17.49 -- though it still sports a mind-boggling 1975.4% year-over-year lead. Circling back to the options activity, so far 15,000 puts have exchanged hands, which is 13 times the intraday average, compared to 6,820 calls. The February 12.50 put is the most popular, followed by the 10 put in the same monthly series, with new positions being opened at both. 

One of the best-performing stocks on the Nasdaq today is Greenland Technologies Holding Corp (Nasdaq: GTEC). The security is up 139.2% at $18.08 at last check, after the company signed a cooperation agreement with Fujian South China Heavy Machinery Manufacture (SOCMA) to use their existing supply-chain and technology in the production of its electric vehicles. Shares hit an all-time high of $26.42 earlier in the session, toppling overhead pressure at the $10 mark, which put the brakes on several of the equity's rally attempts over the past few months. 

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