Dow Jones Industrial Average Wobbles After New Record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is slightly higher as trading volume remains tepid

by Elizabeth Harrow

Published on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is just barely higher at midday, up 6 points at 17,619.94, after earlier touching a new record high of 17,638.21. With government offices closed in honor of Veterans Day, there are no major data points to set the tone -- and trading volume is relatively thin across the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchanges. In fact, the big story today is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), as single people in China celebrate "Singles Day," a holiday that has morphed into the largest online shopping event of the year. However, it seems that traders who bought the Singles Day buzz on Monday are now selling on the news, as yesterday's 4% BABA rally has been almost completely erased.

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

  • Surging volatility expectations ahead of earnings from a beaten-down department store name.
  • An update on the solar stock getting slammed after an earnings disappointment.
  • 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 options volume is J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), as speculators look ahead to Wednesday night's earnings report. Puts and calls are both trading at twice the average intraday pace, and 30-day at-the-money implied volatility on JCP has jumped 1.3% to 73.8% -- in the elevated 78th percentile of its annual range. In fact, options on the retailer are pricing in a roughly 19% post-earnings move. This wouldn't be out of the question for JCP, which popped 16.2% after its May report, and 25.3% following its February earnings. At last check, JCP is down 1.3% at $7.13.

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

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is among the big Nasdaq gainers this afternoon, rallying more than 6% to $2.65 after a bullish nod from Jefferies. ZNGA is now testing resistance at its 50-day moving average, which has kept a tight lid on the stock's progress in recent sessions.

ZNGA since Sept. 15, 2014, with 50-Day Moving Average

Meanwhile, Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE:VSLR) is pacing the decliners over on the Big Board, tanking more than 22% to $11.48 in the wake of a massive earnings miss. As a result, the stock is now set to close beneath its 10-day moving average for the first time since Oct. 16.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is fractionally higher, up 0.2 point, or 1.4%, at 12.85. Mirroring the action in the major equity indexes, the VIX has spent time on both sides of breakeven today, but it's been a relatively quiet inside day for the "fear index."

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.13, with puts holding a narrow edge over calls. Like the S&P 500 Index (SPX), which peaked at a new record of 2,041.28 earlier, SPY tagged a new personal best of $204.31 in today's session. Currently, though, SPY is just 2 pennies higher on the day at $204.00.


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