Stocks Falter As Retail Sales, Manufacturing Data Weigh

Stocks are slipping into red territory this afternoon, as Wall Street weighs the latest economic data. A narrower-than-expected drop in import prices is casting a shadow on strong jobless claims datawhile retail sales would have missed the mark were it not for automotive sales. Plus, manufacturing activity data hinted at an economic slowdown as well. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is trading slightly below breakeven, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are firmly lower.

MMC Stats 0915

Star Bulk Carriers (Nasdaq: SBLK) is seeing increased options activity today, with 20,000 calls and 26,000 puts exchanged so far, a volume that's nine times the average intraday amount. The most popular is January 20, 2023, 18-strike put, followed closely by the 22-strike call in the same series, with new positions being opened at both. Last seen down 2.6% at $20.36, a driver for today's price action is still unclear. The equity just staged a rally off its Sept. 7 annual low of $18.65 but failed to conquer the $21.50 region, which coincides with overhead pressure at the 20-day moving average.

SBLK 20 Day

One of the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Store Capital Corp(NYSE: STOR). The equity is up 20.1% to trade at $32.17 at last check, after the real estate investment trust (REIT) announced Singapore's GIC and private equity firm Oak Street will acquire it in an all-cash deal valued at roughly $14 million, with the offer price of $32.25 representing a 20.4% premium to the stock's last close. The shares earlier hit their highest level since January but are down 6.4% year-to-date.

Meanwhile, Shuttle Pharmaceuticals Inc (Nasdaq: SHPHis towards the bottom of the Nasdaq, last seen down 44.4% at $20.85. Today's massive drop came despite the company receiving new histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor patents in the U.S. and Hong Kong for cancer treatment. The Wall Street newbie has cooled off substantially from its Sept. 1, record high of $126.26, and is now much closer to its initial public offering (IPO) price of $8.12 per share.

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