Stocks mixed near midday as investors await progress on stimulus bill
The major averages are mixed at midday as there remains hope that a compromise can be reached by Friday on Capitol Hill on a new stimulus bill.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 249,000 to 1.19M in the week ended August 1, breaking the streak of rising claims reported in the prior two weeks.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Western Digital (WDC) are 16% lower near noon following the company's fiscal Q4 results. While the market has generally expected an inventory digestion phase, the magnitude of the demand weakness that Western Digital sees is worse than expected, Deutsche Bank analyst Sidney Ho said. Craig-Hallum analyst Christian Schwab, who downgraded Western Digital to Hold from Buy, said the company faces "a host of near-term challenges," including headwinds from retail channels due to COVID-19 related closures, an expected multi-quarter digestion period among cloud customers, and being in the midst of multiple new product ramps
Shares of Bristol-Myers (BMY) are up 3% after the drugmaker reported better than expected results, raised its fiscal year guidance and announced that a U.S. District Court upheld both the composition of matter patent and formulation patent for its Eliquis drug.
Elsewhere in the pharmaceutical and healthcare space, Bausch Health (BHC) shares have jumped 7% after the company reported earnings and announced that it intends to spin off its eye health business into an independent publicly traded entity. "We are committed to taking action to unlock what we see as unrecognized value in Bausch Health shares, and we believe that separating our business into two highly focused, stand-alone companies is the way to accomplish that goal," said chairman and CEO Joseph Papa.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Denali Therapeutics (DNLI), which rose 38% after it opted to advanced DNL151 into late stage clinical studies and announced an agreement to co-develop and co-commercialize small molecule inhibitors of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 for Parkinson's disease with Biogen (BIIB).
Also higher were Ontrak (OTRK), Carvana (CVNA), and Maxar Technologies (MAXR), which gained after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Sonos (SONO), which slid 16% after reporting downbeat quarterly results and providing fourth quarter revenue guidance.
Also lower after reporting quarterly results were OraSure (OSUR), Inseego (INSG), and Amyris (AMRS).
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 22.56, or 0.08%, to 27,224.08
, the Nasdaq was up 16.25, or 0.15%, to 11,014.64
, and the S&P 500 was down 1.23, or 0.04%, to 3,326.54