Stocks Mixed After Congress Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill

Stocks are mixed this afternoon after Congress approved a much-anticipated coronavirus relief package following months of debate. The $1.4 trillion measure includes $900 billion in pandemic aid, and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law in the next few days. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down around 114 points at midday, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is hovering just below breakeven. Elsewhere, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is higher, thanks to a surge in shares of Apple (AAPL). Lastly, the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) came in higher than expected.

Midday Market Stats December 22

One stock seeing notable options activity today is Altice USA Inc (NYSE: ATUS) after the company announced preliminary results of its $2.5 billion tender offer. ATUS was last seen up 1.2% to trade at $35.72, earlier hitting a record high of $36.10. So far today, 22,000 calls and 20,000 puts have already exchanged hands -- four times the intraday average and volume pacing in the 100th percentile of its annual range. Most popular is the January 2021 50-strike call, followed by the 50-strike put from the same series. Longer-term, Altice stock has tacked on 68.5% over the last nine months. 

Meanwhile, one stock near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), last seen up 22.2% at $18.98, earlier hitting a nearly three-year peak of $29.74, after Chewy (CHWY) co-founder Ryan Cohen upped his stake to nearly 13% in the company. GME's 70-day moving average has helped the equity rise on the charts since August, while the stock has added nearly 290% over the last six months. 

GME Chart December 22

Near the bottom of the NYSE today is CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), last seen down 6.6% to trade at $93.92. This comes despite KMX beating Wall Street's third-quarter earnings and revenue estimates. Now the equity trading at its lowest level in a week, but remains up 6.5% for 2020.

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