Stocks Sharply Higher Amid Buyout News, Retail Earnings

Stocks are sharply higher at midday, with investor sentiment improving amid talks that inflation may have at last reached its peak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)  is sporting a 476-point lead this afternoon, looking to nab a fifth-straight gain as the retail sector rallies following a batch of upbeat earnings reports. The S&P 500 Index (SPX and Nasdaq 100 Index (NDXare comfortably in the black as well, after Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk upped his personal financial commitment in his takeover bid of Twitter (TWTR) to $33.5 billion. In other major news, Broadcom (AVGO) is planning to buy VMware (VMW) for $61 billion.

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GameStop Corp.(NYSE: GMEis getting blasted in the options pits today. So far, 151,000 calls and 70,000 puts have crossed the tape, which is seven times the intraday average. The most popular contract is the 5/27 150-strike call, followed by the 140-strike call in the same weekly series, with positions being opened at both. The equity was last up 19.4% at $137.37, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined TradeZero over false statements regarding meme stocks. The shares earlier surged to their highest level since mid-April, and are today looking to settle well above their 120-day moving average. Year-over-year, though, GME still carries a hefty 43.5% deficit.

GME 120 Day

Near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc(NYSE: BBW), last seen up 15% to trade at $19.21. Today's bull gap came after the toymaker reported first-quarter earnings and revenue beat. The company also issued an upbeat 2022 revenue forecast. It has been a volatile year so far for BBW, though the stock still sports a 45% year-over-year lead. Shares are today pacing for their best day since December, however, should these gains hold, and their second-straight daily win.

The worst performer on the NYSE is Manchester United PLC (NYSE: MANU), last seen down 12.5% at $11.38. The football club earlier posted worse-than-expected first-quarter losses and revenue, as higher wages and lower broadcast revenues weighed after it failed to qualify for next season's European Champions League. As a result, shares earlier hit an all-time low of $10.55, and now carry a 21.1% year-to-date deficit.

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