Stocks Dragged Lower By Russia Brinkmanship

Stocks are extending their losses midday, as the tension between Russia and Ukraine heats up, with U.S. President Joe Biden warning reporters that Russia's invasion could come within the next "several days." U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is speaking at the United Nations Security Council this morning and has called on Russia to withdraw troops. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down over 400 points at last check, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) swim in red ink as well. Weekly jobless claims came in at 248,000 for last week, which is higher than analysts' expected 219,000, while housing starts saw a roughly 4% decrease in January from the previous month. Meanwhile, gold prices are rising amid geopolitical tensions and rate hike expectations, with March-delivered gold up 1.4% at $1,896.90 per ounce.

MMC Feb17

Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd (NYSE: HMYis seeing a bullish options surge today, as investors gobble up safe-haven assets. So far, 16,000 calls have crossed the tape, volume that's 25 times what's typically seen at this point. A large portion of this trading can be attributed to the January 2023 5-strike call. At last glance, HMY is up 2.5% at $3.88. 

One stock surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Fiverr International Ltd (FVRR), up 18.3% to trade at $89.72 after the company's upbeat fourth-quarter results. Still, the stock's 40-day moving average appears to be keeping a cap on today's gains. Struggling to rebound from its Jan. 28 one-year low of $68, FVRR is down 22.5% year-to-date. 


Meanwhile, cloud computing services provider Fastly Inc (NYSE: FSLYis down 28.8% at $20.59, trading at its lowest levels since May of 2020. Though the company announced narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter losses per share and a revenue beat, the firm's disappointing full-year forecast is sending the shares lower. Plus, no fewer than three analysts slashed their price targets. Year-to-date, FSLY is down 48.9%. 

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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