Stocks Slip Ahead Of Fed Minutes, Nvidia Earnings

Stocks are lower today, with the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) leading the losses as investors reassess a potentially overvalued tech sector. Ahead of the January meeting Fed minutes, policy speculation appears to be overshadowed by Nvidia's (NVDA) highly-anticipated earnings report, due out after the close. Meanwhile, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is eyeing its fourth-straight daily gain. 

MMC Febr21

Options traders are targeting Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE: TDOC) today, as the stock plummets following the company's disappointing 2024 guidance and ensuing slew of bear notes. So far, 41,000 calls and 33,000 puts have been exchanged, which is already 7.2 times the average daily options volume. The April 17.50 call is the most popular, where new positions are being bought to open. At last look, TDOC was down 24.6% to trade at $15.45, and earlier traded as low as $15.27 -- right on the cusp of its Oct. 30 eight-year low of $15.02. 

Rapt Therapeutics Inc (Nasdaq: RAPT) is up 26% at $8.66 at last glance, looking to recover just a small portion of yesterday's massive dive to record lows, after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) put two mid-stage trials of the company's drug, Zelnecirnon, on hold. Today, J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight," Leerink cut its rating to "market perform" from "outperform," and several other analysts chimed in with price-target cuts. 

Meanwhile, cybersecurity stock Palo Alto Networks Inc (Nasdaq: PANW) is headed for its worst day ever, down 26.2% to trade at $270.76, after the company reported dismal current-quarter forecast. A flood of analysts are slashing PANW's price objective, while Piper Sandler and Northland Capital downgraded the shares to "neutral" and "market perform," respectively. Trading at its lowest levels since November, the equity is still up roughly 62% year over year. 

PANW Feb21

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