Bank Stocks Drag Dow Jones Industrial Average Lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is backpedaling from all-time highs

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Nov 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) dropped nearly 80 points out of the gate today, backing down from all-time peaks. Although the Dow has trimmed its deficit to 12 points, or 0.1%, the index remains in danger of snapping its five-session streak of hitting record highs. Dragging the blue chips lower are JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), down 1.4% and 1%, respectively, as big-cap financial concerns reel in the face of forex fines. In addition, speculators were spooked by less-than-stellar data out of Europe and a "sooner rather than later" rate-hike campaign from Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, which have trumped a bigger-than-expected uptick in September wholesale inventories.

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

  • M&A news for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), which is touching new highs despite behind-the-scenes drama.
  • Meanwhile, YHOO affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is reveling in more bullish analyst attention amid buzz of an eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) partnership.
  • 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 Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS), as traders bet bullishly ahead of earnings next Wednesday, Nov. 19. Intraday call volume is running at 10 times the norm, with most of the action consisting of buy-to-open activity at the November 14 call. Specifically, one trader bought to open a block of 12,000 calls for $0.17 apiece, which will be profitable if SPLS topples $14.17 (strike plus premium paid) by the close on Friday, Nov. 21, when front-month options expire. SPLS was last seen 0.1% higher at $13.05, with help from a price-target boost to $12 at Jefferies.

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

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS) is the biggest loser on the Big Board today. The stock is swimming in red ink after the firm said lackluster attendance translated into weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings. At last check, the shares have surrendered 11.1% to linger near $16.54, after earlier touching a new all-time low of $16.50.

Weekly Chart of SEAS since April 2013

Meanwhile, one of the top advancers on the New York Stock Exchange is Matson Inc (NYSE:MATX), which has surged more than 20% to flirt with record highs at $35.10. Bolstering the equity was news that Matson is buying the Alaska operations of rival Horizon Lines for $69 million.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has spent the session in the black, up 0.1 point, or 1.1%, at 13.06. The "fear gauge" is now on pace to end north of 13 for the first session in three.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.71, with puts handily outpacing calls. Like the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX), SPY is on track to snap its five-session string of all-time highs, down 0.1% at $203.96.


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