Dow Jones Industrial Average in Record Territory as ECB Mulls QE

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is barely higher, after earlier setting an all-time best

Nov 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is searching for direction at midday, up only 33 points after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi left the door open for quantitative easing. Following today's policy decision, Draghi noted downside risks to the eurozone economy, and said central bankers are ready to employ unconventional measures to employ price stability. Here in the U.S., initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 last week to a slimmer-than-forecast 278,000 -- marking the eighth consecutive week of sub-300,000 readings, and offering some cause for cautious optimism ahead of tomorrow's report on October payrolls. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has inched just fractionally higher -- though both the Dow and SPX tagged fresh record highs in today's session, topping out at 17,538.32 and 2,027.35, respectively.

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

  • How options traders are playing the post-earnings plunge in Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW)
  • The upscale apparel name that's pacing the NYSE gainers with a robust sales outlook
  • 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 Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), with approximately 38,000 calls exchanged so far -- easily dwarfing the stock's average daily volume of fewer than 8,700 contracts. Traders are responding to stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings from WFM, which has rallied 10.4% to trade at $44.13. The stock is being targeted by both short-term and long-term traders today; the most active option is WFM's weekly 11/7 45-strike call, and that strike's January 2016 counterpart is also a popular play.

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

Kate Spade & Co (NYSE:KATE) is one of the top gainers on the Big Board today, with the apparel name catching a jolt from an upbeat sales forecast. As a result of today's bullish gap, the stock is on pace to close atop its 50-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 11. At last look, KATE is up 19% at $31.24.

KATE since June 2014 with 50-Day Moving Average

On the flip side, Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) has tanked 36% to trade at $9.00, after reporting a record quarterly loss. Earlier in the session, GNW bottomed out at a new low of $8.75. Nevertheless, speculators are hopeful for a rebound, with weekly options traders buying to open 10-strike calls.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has ticked up 0.3 point, or 1.8%, to 14.42. The VIX remains pinned below the 15 level, which has kept a lid on its progress for the past week.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) weighs in at 1.19, with 489,592 calls and 587,023 puts traded so far. SPY tagged a new all-time high of $202.87 earlier, and is currently up 0.1% at $202.55.


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