Dow Jones Industrial Average Back at New Highs on M&A, Dovish Dudley

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) capitalizes on cooled rate-hike expectations

Nov 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is on positive ground at midday, even though initial jobless claims rose last week by a steeper-than-forecast 12,000 to 290,000. Instead, traders are taking heart in a wave of merger-and-acquisition news -- featuring a Duracell deal and Dreamworks buzz -- as well as reassuring comments from Fed President William Dudley. Speaking in Abu Dhabi, Dudley said it's "still premature" for a rate hike, and said policymakers could let the economy run "slightly hot" to support the jobs market. (Fed Chief Janet Yellen has her own speech scheduled a little later in the session.) Against this backdrop, the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX) have both resumed their record-setting runs -- though they've retreated from their early gains quite a bit. The Dow is up 31 points at 17,643.28, after earlier topping out at 17,705.48; meanwhile, the SPX is off 0.6 point at 2,037.67, down from its new peak of 2,046.18.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put volume is J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), as the stock's steep post-earnings sell-off has landed it on the short-sale restricted list. As a result, put volume has surged to six times the intraday norm, with roughly 64,000 contracts exchanged so far. The November 7 strike is far and away the most active, sporting volume of more than 17,700 contracts. At last look, JCP is down 9.5% at $7.03.

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

One of the major Big Board gainers is King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), up 10.1% at $15.45. The stock is building on yesterday's analyst-inspired gains, and is on track to close above $15 for the first time since its after-earnings bear gap in August.

Daily Chart of KING since July 2014

Elsewhere, Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ:CZR) is also enjoying its second day of healthy gains, popping 14.6% to $15.67 -- placing it among the top Nasdaq advancers. The stock is catching a lift from news that Richard Stockton College will buy CZR's Showboat Atlantic City casino resort, which has been shuttered since August.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.4 point, or 3.2%, at 13.44. However, the VIX remains pinned by resistance at its 10-day moving average, just overhead at 13.65.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is a top-heavy 2.14, as the continued string of record highs for stocks seems to have triggered renewed interest in portfolio protection. SPY is down 0.06% at $203.83, after earlier tagging a fresh high of $204.83.


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