Reopening Optimism Pushes Stocks Higher

The major indexes are getting a minor boost today by way of reopening plays, which are surging on the back of rapidly dropping Covid-19 cases. In fact, the U.S. daily average just fell below the 25,00 mark -- its lowest level since June 19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI-- celebrating its 125th birthday today -- was last seen up 34 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are registering modest gains as well. 

The retail space is also having its day in the sun, with Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) both enjoying post-earnings pops. Elsewhere, Bitcoin (BTC) is eyeing a comeback; the cryptocurrency briefly reclaimed $40,000 earlier and was last seen retesting the closely watched $38,000 level. 

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The GEO Group Inc (NYSE: GEO) is seeing a surge in bearish options activity this afternoon. More than 3,000 puts have been exchanged so far -- more than doubling the intraday average -- compared to just under 1,800 calls. The most popular is the July 5 put, followed by the June 5 put, with positions being bought to open at the former. GEO is up 0.5% at $5.30 at last glance, despite Standard & Poor Global downgrading the company's credit rating to junk territory. Earlier, the equity hit a 14-year low of $5.23, and its now off 40% in 2021. 

The top performer on the Nasdaq today is Asensus Surgical Inc (Nasdaq: ASXC). The security was last seen up 37% to trade at $2.79 after H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and a $4 price target. The equity is eyeing its highest close since early April and is set to topple its 40-day moving average, which was applying pressure to the shares during the last few session. 

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Larimar Therapeutics Inc (Nasdaq: LRMR) is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today. The equity is down 37.1% to trade at $5 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paused the biopharma's early-stage trial of its experimental therapy CTI-1601, used to treat patients with Friedreich's ataxia (FA). The FDA cited the company's notification of mortalities at the treatment's highest dosage levels. LRMR breached its 40-day moving average and is now down 61% this year. 

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