Stocks Cut Lower As Dow Sheds Another Triple Digits

This morning's neutral start after stocks' worst day since June was short-lived, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) cutting to a 123 deficit by midday. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile, is flat, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) was last seen sitting just above the breakeven.

Though most sectors are suffering today, especially real estate and healthcare, energy stocks are on the rise as oil prices make a big resurgence. Concerns over tightening supplies have resurfaced after Saudi Arabia suggested that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) cut some its output in order to support prices as U.S. crude inventories drop.

Elsewhere, the 10-year Treasury yield backpedaled its morning gains amid a 12.6% drop in new home sales for July, and worse-than-expected services and manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) data. 

midday stats aug 23

Haliburton Company (NYSE: HALis seeing an uptick in options activity today, with 14,000 calls and 5,305 puts exchanged so far -- three times the intraday average. The most popular is the weekly 8/26 30.50-strike put, followed closely by the September 30 call with positions being bought to open at the former. HAL was last seen up 8.4% at $31.64 as members of the energy sector rise amid concerns over tightening crude supply. HAL is up 39% this year, and today's pop has put the stock back above the 50-day moving average for the first time since mid-June. 

hal aug 23

One of the best-performing stocks on the Nasdaq today is Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (Nasdaq: AERI). The equity was last seen up 35.1% at $15.07 after Alcon (ALC) said it would acquire Aerie in a deal worth $753 million or $15.25 per share. Prior to today's pop, the equity was trading sideways, with underlying support at the 320-day moving average. Today, AERI is sitting at its highest level in almost a year. 

GigaCloud Technology Inc (Nasdaq: GCT), conversely, is one of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq. The security is down 32% at $28.38 at last check, after just four sessions on Wall Street. Yesterday, GCT hit a high of $62 as the Hong Kong-based equity got swept up in meme stock mania, and though the shares are plummeting today, they're still holding over their initial public offering (IPO) price of $12.25. 

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