A concern about possible problems with the spread of coronavirus vaccines led to one of the largest one-day losses since October for US stocks on Wednesday. A large volume of short positions was also opened for GameStop and other securities due to sharp fluctuations.
A battle erupted between day traders seeking to invest in GameStop and hedge funds that are actively shorting the company, sending GameStop shares soaring 135%. AMC Entertainment, another target for intraday traders, rose 301%. The shares of both companies in January grew by more than 800%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 633.87 points, or 2.1%, to 30303.17 points, falling for the fifth session in a row, and the S&P 500 sank 98.85 points, or 2.6%, to 3750. 77 points, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 355.47 points, or 2.6%, to 13.270.60 points. All three indices saw their biggest one-day falls since October 28.
In response to the spread of new strains of Covid-19 around the globe, governments are being forced to vaccinate the population as soon as possible, since any delays could lead to the lifting of lockdowns and other quarantine restrictions
AstraZeneca has announced a sharp decline in vaccine supplies to the European Union due to problems at its European factory. A shortage of vaccines could adversely affect the vaccination process in the UK, as EU authorities begin to push the company to acquire vaccines produced by British factories.
During the same day, President Joe Biden announced he would purchase more vaccine doses that should be enough to supply the vaccine for most US residents.
In the afternoon, investors analyzed the financial results of AT&T, Blackstone, and Boeing. After that, tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Tesla reported on their results.
Today Top Movers
Naked Brand Group Ltd (NAKD) stock ascended 67.39% at $2.31 in the pre-market trading today. The company recently declared pricing of $50 million registered direct offering priced at-the-market.
XpresSpa Group Inc (XSPA) grew over 30.13% at $3.11 in pre-market trading today following an announcement from the company that it plans on opening new XpresCheck facilities, offering more opportunities for in-airport COVID-19 testing.
Sundial Growers Inc (SNDL) stock moved up 38.15 percent to $0.83 in the pre-market trading.
American Battery Metals Corp (ABML) was up more than 7.11% at $3.64 in the extended-hours session.
Top Upgrades & Downgrades
RBC Capital turned bullish on PTC Inc. (PTC), upgrading the stock to “Outperform” and assigning a $145.0 price target, representing a potential upside of 20% from Wednesday’s close.
Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has won the favor of KeyBanc’s equity research team. The firm upgraded the shares from Sector Weight to Overweight and moved their price target to $65.0, suggesting 35.08% additional upside for the stock.
Brinker International Inc. (EAT) received an upgrade from analysts at KeyBanc, who also set their one-year price target on the stock to $64.0. They changed their rating on EAT to Overweight from Sector Weight in a recently issued research note.
Earlier Thursday JMP Securities reduced its rating on Tesla Inc. (TSLA) stock to Market Perform from Outperform.
Stifel analysts reduced their investment ratings, saying in research reports covered by the media that it’s rating for The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) has been changed to Hold from Buy.
Analysts at Stifel downgraded Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL)’s stock to Hold from Buy Thursday.
Latest Insider Activity
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) SEVP-Chief Financial Officer McCarthy Christine M announced the sale of shares taking place on Jan 25 at $172.00 for some 25,000 shares. The total came to more than $4.3 million.
iRobot Corporation (IRBT) Chief Executive Officer Angle Colin M sold on Jan 25 a total of 302,208 shares at $104.88 on average. The insider’s sale generated proceeds of almost $3.78 million.
Fastenal Company (FAST) Director Ancius Michael J declared the purchase of shares taking place on Jan 25 at $47.50 for some 770 shares. The transaction amount was around $36575.0.
FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL) CEO Few Jason bought on Jan 25 a total 22,134 shares at $17.99 on average. The purchase cost the insider an estimated $197,890.
Top US earnings releases scheduled for today include American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL). It will announce its Dec 2020 financial results. The company is expected to report earnings of -$4.11 per share from revenues of $3.88B in the three-month period.
Analysts expect Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) to report a net income (adjusted) of $0.48 per share when the bank releases its quarterly results shortly. Revenue for the fiscal quarter ended Dec 2020 is predicted to come in at $26.78B.
United States Steel Corporation (X), due to announce earnings after the market closes today, is expected to report earnings of -$0.68 per share from revenues of $2.58B recently concluded three-month period.