Dow Drops Triple Digits As Investors Eye Sanctions

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIis down 292 points midday. The blue-chip index is extending this morning's losses, with all eyes glued to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine situation after several new sanctions were announced by the U.S. and other countries. U.S. President Joe Biden is set to speak from the White House at 1 p.m. Eastern time regarding the crisis. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are sharply lower as well, as the major indexes begin their holiday-shortened week after their second-straight week of losses. 

The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) jumped two points to 52.5 in February, while the consumer confidence index dropped to 110.5 from 111.1 -- a smaller decline than expected. Oil prices are still spiking as well, with West Texas Intermediate futures last seen up 2% at $92.88 per barrel.

MMC Feb22

Ocugen Inc (Nasdaq: OCGNis seeing a bullish options surge today, after news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted its hold on the company's Covid-19 vaccine trial application. So far, 36,000 calls have crossed the tape, compared to6,374 puts, with options volume running at seven times what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 2/25 5-strike call is the most popular, as traders gear up for Ocugen's earnings report that day as well. OCGN is up 28% to trade at $4.43. 

Textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co (Nasdaq: HMHC) is climbing on the charts today, up 15.2% at $20.87 at last check -- a nearly six-year high. This surge comes after news that Veritas Capital will acquire the company for $2.8 billion in cash. Halper Sadeh LLP, an investor rights law firm, is currently investigating whether the merger is fair to shareholders. Year-over-year, the equity is up roughly 216%. 

Meanwhile, Tempur Sealy International Inc (NYSE: TPX) is taking a nosedive after the company's fourth-quarter report, in which both earnings and revenue missed estimates. At last glance, TPX was down 14.9% at $31.92 -- its lowest level since Feb. 23 of 2021 -- to erase the stock's year-over-year gains. 

TPX chart

Disclaimer: Schaeffer's Investment Research ("SIR" or "we" or "us") is not registered as an investment adviser. SIR relies upon the "publishers' ...

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