Dow Falls Triple Digits As Stocks Extend Morning Losses

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down over 125 points midday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made comments regarding the eventual ending of the government stimulus that has helped the economy during the pandemic. Energy and bank stocks are also putting pressure on the blue-chip index. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are firmly in the red as well, despite the 10-year Treasury yield falling for the fourth-straight day, and data showing better-than-expected initial jobless claims for last week. Meanwhile, news came that U.S. President Joe Biden plans to announce a new Covid-19 vaccination goal of 200 million shots within his first 100 days -- doubling the previous goal of 100 million. 

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One stock seeing a surge in options volume on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is retailer RH (NYSE: RH), formerly known as Restoration Hardware Holdings. So far, 5,241 calls and 5,039 puts have crossed the tape -- eight times what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 3/26 530-strike call is the most popular, followed by the 550-strike call in the same series, with new positions being opened at both. At last check, RH was up 2.8% to trade at $499.19, after upbeat fourth-quarter results and a positive current-quarter forecast. Plus, no fewer than eight analysts raised their price targets, with the highest from BofA Global Research to $650. 

Meanwhile, one stock surging on the Nasdaq today is ProQR Therapeutics NV (Nasdaq: PRQR), up 42.4% at $8.09 at last check. The biotech company reported positive results in an early to mid-stage trial of its eye disease therapy candidate, QR-421a, and plans to advance it to late-stage trials. On the charts, today's pop has PRQR hitting a fresh annual high, now up around 92% year-to-date. 

On the other hand, Evolus Inc (Nasdaq: EOLS) is plummeting, down 23.2% at $12.68. The company reported a fourth-quarter revenue miss as well as a wider-than-anticipated net loss. Falling from yesterday's one-year high of $17.38, the stock is currently contending with its 20-day moving average, a trendline that has acted as support since early January. Year-to-date, the security is still up 274%. 

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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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