Yesterday the US indices plunged deep into the red again. The last two days have seen a brave recovery, but panic broke out yesterday. The S&P 500 index lost 2.45% from a position of 3,829 points and the Nasdaq index fell 3.52% and closed at 13,119 points. The rising bond yields are now really starting to hurt investors. Ten-year yields rose to 1.49% on Thursday and the US 30-year Treasury bond even yields 2.28%. For the first time since early 2020, you will now receive a higher interest rate on this long-term bond than you will receive in dividends on stocks (S&P 500).
Technology stocks in particular seem to be affected by these higher interest rates. In recent days, the Nasdaq has lost more than the S&P and Dow Jones. Refinancing debt simply becomes more expensive and thus attracting new capital becomes more difficult. Hardest stocks are hit the hardest, because investors can still get out there with good profits. For example, Baidu lost 10% yesterday and Tesla again lost more than 10%. NVIDIA fell 7.11% and Spotify lost a whopping 9.45%.
Positive outliers were Twitter (+ 3.71%) and GameStop (+ 18.56%). Twitter revised its earnings forecast upwards and GameStop responded positively to the CFO replacement.
Today, the sell-off seems to be taking another tail, as futures are sharply lower. In the US, the Nasdaq Future is already 0.7% in the red.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that the interest rate rise will cool down quickly, because we are currently seeing panic across the entire market. The VIX (Volatility Index) has risen to a level of 28 points and even gold and silver are being hit. People really seem to be looking for liquidity, because even Bitcoin (-8%) is significantly lower today.
Today Top Movers
Lixte Biotechnology Holdings Inc (LIXT)is up 29.97% to $4.90 in premarket trading today.
Armstrong Flooring Inc. (AFI) stock soared 36.14% to $5.5 in the pre-market trading after signing a definitive agreement to sell South Gate, California property for $76.7 million.
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (AMEX: NAK) shares are trading up 33.14% at $0.932 at the time of writing.
Sensus Healthcare Inc. (SRTS) grew over 15.18% at $4.4 in pre-market trading today. The company recently declared fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results.
Top Upgrades & Downgrades
Needham turned bullish on LivePerson Inc. (LPSN), upgrading the stock to “Buy” and assigning a $71.0 price target, representing a potential upside of 35.81% from Thursday’s close.
NetApp Inc. (NTAP) has won the favor of Daiwa’s equity research team. The firm upgraded the shares from Neutral to Outperform and moved their price target to $70, suggesting a 14.36% additional upside for the stock.
Spirit Realty Capital Inc. (SRC) received an upgrade from analysts at UBS. They changed their rating on SRC to Neutral from Sell in a recently issued research note.
Earlier Friday Baird reduced its rating on Voyager Therapeutics Inc. (VYGR) stock to Neutral from Outperform and assigned the price target to $6.
Raymond James analysts reduced their investment ratings, saying in research reports covered by the media that it’s rating for Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) has been changed to Outperform from Strong Buy and the new price target is set at $120.
Analysts at SVB Leerink downgraded Pandion Therapeutics Inc. (PAND)’s stock to Market Perform from Outperform Friday.
Latest Insider Activity
PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) EVP, Chief Strategy & Growth Auerbach Jonathan announced the sale of shares taking place on Feb 23 at $261.38 for some 46,134 shares. The total came to more than $12.06 million.
Tapestry Inc. (TPR) VP, Controller, and PAO Dadlani Manesh sold on Feb 24 a total of 19,753 shares at $41.47 on average. The insider’s sale generated proceeds of almost $6801.
Ford Motor Company (F) Director THORNTON JOHN L declared the purchase of shares taking place on Feb 23 at $11.62 for some 8,620 shares. The transaction amount was around $0.1 million.
DuPont de Nemours Inc. (DD) Director CURTIN TERRENCE R bought on Feb 22 a total 7,500 shares at $69.94 on average. The purchase cost the insider an estimated $524,549.
Top US earnings releases scheduled for today include DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG). It will announce its Dec 2020 financial results. The company is expected to report earnings of -$0.47 per share from revenues of $232.6M in the three-month period.
Analysts expect Vistra Corp. (NYSE: VST) to report a net income (adjusted) of $0.76 per share when the company releases its quarterly results shortly. Revenue for the fiscal quarter ended Dec 2020 is predicted to come in at $3.39B.
EOG Resources Inc. (EOG), due to announce earnings before the market opens today, is expected to report earnings of $0.8 per share from revenues of $3.04B recently concluded three-month period.