Stocks Mixed, Headed For Monthly Wins

In what appears to be a theme this week, stocks are hesitant midday as investors unpack this morning's jobs and inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is in the red, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is flat, and the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) is modestly higher, with all three benchmarks on track for monthly wins. Still, Wall Street is pacing for its fourth-straight monthly win, keeping up this year's positive momentum. 

MMC Feb29

In the options pits today, Snowflake Inc (NYSE: SNOWis at the top of the list of unusual volume following the IT name's dismal first-quarter and full-year forecasts. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" after the event, while a flood of other brokerages chimed in with price-target cuts. So far, 209,000 calls and 129,000 puts have been exchanged, which is already 3.7 times SNOW's average daily options volume. The weekly 3/1 200-strike call, where new positions are being opened, is the most popular. At last glance, Snowflake stock was down 19% to trade at $186.35, earlier as low as $180.68, though familiar support at that level kept losses in check. 

SNOW Feb29

Vertex Inc (Nasdaq: VERX) is soaring to nearly three-year highs today, up 25.3% at $31.82 at last glance, after the tax technology name's better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and full-year forecast. Since last February, the equity is up roughly 107%. 

Meanwhile, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc (Nasdaq: IRWDis near the bottom of the Nasdaq, after the biotech's bowel disease treatment missed its secondary goals in a late-stage study. At last check, IRWD was off 39.6% at $9.14, erasing its 2024 rally. Now, the equity is down roughly 20% since both the start of the year and year over year. 

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