Stocks Lower At Midday, Maintain Pace For Another Weekly Win

The major indexes are lower at midday but continue to pace toward their third-straight week in the black. The S&P 500 Index (SPXis trading slightly below breakeven, still hovering near its record highs, but now on track to snap its seven-day win streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIis around 11 points lower, earlier nabbing a fresh intraday high, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is trading down triple digits, as lackluster earnings reports and new Apple (AAPL) iOS privacy measures drag the sector. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), meanwhile is slightly higher today, though its on track for its third-straight week in the red.

Midday Market Stats October 22

One stock seeing an uptick in call trading activity today is Vodafone Group Plc (Nasdaq: VOD), with 27,000 calls crossing the tape so far, representing 14 times the intraday average, and handily outpaces the meager 529 puts traded so far. The most popular contract by a mile is the weekly 4/14 17-strike call. Vodafone stock is up 0.2% at $15.54 at last check, following news that the company plans to hire nearly 7,000 software engineers by 2025 in order to develop its own digital services in Europe and Africa. Year-to-date, VOD has taken a 7.9% haircut. 

The best performing stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF),up 12.7% to trade at $23.85 at last check. This surge comes after the steel producer reported top- and bottom-line beats for its third-quarter results. Also boosting the equity is forecasts of higher average selling prices for steel in 2022, which challenges Wall Street's outlook that prices are ripe for correction. On the charts, CLF bounced off the $19 area in September, while long-term support from the 200-day trendline saved two pullback attempts along the way. Trading back above $23 after nearly two months below the level, Cleveland-Cliffs stock boasts an incredible 183.7% year-over-year increase.

CLF Chart October 22

At the very bottom of the NYSE is Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP), last seen down 22.4% to trade at $58.34. Despite an earnings beat in its latest quarterly report, Snapchat's parent reported revenue that feel short of Wall Street's forecasts. Meanwhile, changes in Apple's iOS privacy rules will make it more difficult for the company to gather information from and target ads toward users, leading Snap to warn of slowing growth. Today's pullback is looking like it could be the equity's worst single-day percentage performance in at least two years. Year-to-date, Snap stock is still around 16% higher.

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