Stocks Mixed Following JNJ Vaccine Update, Inflation Data

The major benchmarks are mixed this afternoon, after Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) vaccine rollout was halted due to blood clotting issues, offsetting investors' optimism surrounding upbeat March inflation data. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIis down 97 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is modestly higher -- earlier managing to notch a new intraday peak. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) boasts notable gains, thanks to rises from major tech names like Apple (AAPL), (AMZN), and Tesla (TSLA).

Midday Market Stats April 13

One stock seeing a surge in options activity today is Canaan Inc - ADR (Nasdaq: CAN), after the company released its latest financial results and an investigation was opened concerning potential violations of federal securities laws. So far, 30,000 calls and 15,000 puts have exchanged hands, which is four times the intraday average. The April 15 call is the most popular, followed by the 17.50 call from the same series, with new positions being opened at both. At last check, CAN is up 13.2% at $14.88, attempting to rally on the charts after yesterday's plunge to $12.05. The security has long term support from the 100-day moving average, but the 60-day is keeping a tight lid on gains. Year-over-year, Canaan stock is up 277.5%.

CAN Chart April 13

Standing near the the top of the Nasdaq today is Novocure Ltd (Nasdaq: NVCR), last seen up 58.9% at $209.49. The equity soared to a new record high, after the tumor treatment company reported an independent data monitoring committee (DMC) review of its lung cancer treatment trial would lead to its acceleration. Novocure plans to take its next steps with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as it can. Prior to today's news, NVCR was struggling for direction on the charts, with pressure from its 30-day moving average as well as the $140 level since mid-March. Novocure stock now boasts an incredible 200.6% rise year-over-year. 

Meanwhile, sitting near the bottom of the Nasdaq is Nicolet Bankshares Inc (Nasdaq: NCBS), down 9.6% at $76.50 at last check, after it was reported that the company will acquire Mackinac Financial (MFNC). The end result will be a combined company with pro forma total assets of just over $6 billion. On the charts, NCBS has been trading mostly sideways since early March, hovering near its March 24 record peak of $86.25. Today, however, the equity is back trading at its lowest level since mid-February. Still, the security is up 11.6% in 2021.

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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