Midday Meme Stock Report for 10/26: DraftKings, Progenity, Tesla, Vertex Energy

The three major U.S. equity indexes were able to build on their premarket gains until late morning Tuesday. Facebook turned negative, but the tech sector still showed a gain of around 0.6% for the first half of the day’s regular trading session. Nothing, it seems, has lit a fire under investors Tuesday morning.

Meme stocks reflected the overall market moves, with about half our watch list up and the other half down. The day’s big gainer was Progenity Inc. (NASDAQ: PROG), which traded sharply higher due in equal parts to bulls who think the debt reduction scheme the company announced Tuesday morning will lift the shares and to bears who think that a short squeeze is driving the price of the shares up. Our money’s on the short squeezers.

Shares of DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) rose more than 5% shortly after the company announced that it was giving up on its $22.6 billion bid for U.K.-based gambling firm Entain. In a statement, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said it “will not make a firm offer for Entain at this time.” Robins also said that DraftKings could “achieve our long-term growth plans in the rapidly growing North America market.”

Vertex Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: VTNR) was the day’s biggest loser thus far. On Tuesday, the refiner said it intends to sell $155 million in convertible senior notes in a private offering. The interest rate, initial conversion rate, redemption rights and other terms of the notes will be determined at the time of pricing of the offering. If the company does have lenders lined up, current investors would see another 31 million shares issued at $5 a share. The current price is already well below that level.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) had dipped to a small loss in the first half-day of trading Tuesday, after posting another new 52-week high. The company’s market cap remains above $1 trillion. Asset manager Ross Gerber told Barron’s, “It’s bigger than just Hertz. Tesla has never announced a fleet order before … It’s symbolic of a bigger thing.” One thing is for sure, Tesla was generating more chatter on Reddit in the morning than any other stock. One commenter observed, “Bears with stop loss above 1100 made bank today. Elon should tweet ‘TSLA price too low imo.'” That’ll separate the wheat from the chaff, all right.

Progenity stock traded up more than 22% in the noon hour Tuesday and pulled back to around $4.05, up 19.8%. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $0.66 to $8.20. The average daily volume is around 50 million shares and 191.5 million have been traded so far today.

Shares of DraftKings traded up about 4.4% at last look, at around $48.87 in a 52-week range of $34.90 to $74.38. The average daily trading volume is about 12.2 million shares, and nearly 20 million already had traded Tuesday.

Vertex Energy traded down more than 21% to $4.19 as the noon hour ended Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $0.40 to $14.32. The average daily trading volume is around 1.5 million shares, and about 9.3 million had changed hands thus far.

Tesla traded down less than 1% to $1,022.40, after posting a new all-time high of $1,094.94 earlier in the morning. The stock’s 52-week low is $379.11. The average daily trading volume is around 19.6 million shares, and more than 47 million had traded on the day.

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