Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops on Midterm Tuesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is moderately lower ahead of some market-moving events

Nov 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is down 48 points at midday, as voters across the country head to the polls for midterm elections. The equities market is following suit with a sell-off in oil futures, after Saudi Arabia unveiled a bold pricing strategy to remain competitive with U.S. crude producers. However, traders aren't committing to any major moves ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) meeting and Friday's U.S. jobs report. While the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is off 14 points at last look, the index is so far finding support in the 2,000 area -- near the site of last Thursday's highs.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • How hot-button stock Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is faring after earnings
  • The telecom name spiraling to all-time lows
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), with activity rising to double the usual intraday level ahead of Wednesday night's earnings report. Approximately 19,000 QCOM calls have changed hands at last check, with more than 11,000 of those crossing at the stock's December 80 call. According to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), quite a few of these calls were bought to open. With QCOM off 2.2% at $76.56, these back-month calls are several points out of the money.

For more midday statistics and stocks on the move, head to page 2.

It's a good day for outspoken Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) short seller William Ackman, as the stock slides 19% post-earnings to trade at $45.17. HLF's downbeat outlook inspired a few bearish brokerage notes this morning, and the stock's drastic intraday decline has triggered a short-selling halt. As a result, traders are flocking to HLF put options, with roughly 80,000 traded so far -- easily dwarfing the stock's average daily put volume of about 12,000 contracts.

Also swallowing steep losses today is Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), down 17% at $5.15 after its own earnings disappointment. Earlier in the session, S tagged a new record low of $4.86. The stock has shed more than half of its value in 2014.

Daily Chart of S since May 2014

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.8 point, or 5.4%, to 15.52. The VIX is nearly flat with its 10-day moving average, at 15.48, which hasn't been surmounted on a daily closing basis since Oct. 17.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.11, with puts narrowly outnumbering calls. The broad-market proxy is currently off 0.7% at $200.32.


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