Dow Jones Industrial Average Waffles; Crude, Gold Look to Rebound

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is on pace for a fourth straight weekly win

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Nov 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

U.S. stocks are waffling around breakeven, despite a couple of upbeat economic reports. Specifically, domestic retail sales rebounded by a bigger-than-expected 0.3% in October, and consumer sentiment hit a seven-year peak in November, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan. Outside of the economic calendar, traders are keeping an eye on commodities, with crude futures clawing out of four-year-low territory, and gold bouncing back amid a cooling greenback. Among equities in focus, Merger Mania has hit the Street, with Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) among stocks in the headlines.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is down 10.6 points, or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) sit just a hair's breadth above the flat line. For the week, however, the major market indexes are on pace for their fourth straight Friday-to-Friday gains.

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

  • 3 energy stocks garnering attention in the options pits.
  • The motorcycle maker revving engines at Goldman Sachs.
  • 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 biopharmaceutical concern Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN), which has skyrocketed after licensing a cancer treatment to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The shares of GERN were last seen 26.4% higher at $2.92, and calls are trading at 12 times the typical intraday rate. What's more, calls outnumber puts by a margin of more than 10-to-1. Digging deeper, it looks like some option bulls are buying to open the November 3.50 call, amid hopes for GERN to topple the strike -- a feat not accomplished since March -- by next Friday's close, when the front-month series expires.

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

One of the major Nasdaq gainers is Sky Solar Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:SKYS). The alternative energy issue went public yesterday, and ticked higher despite ugly guidance from SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) weighing on the solar sector. SKYS is now up 23.5% at $11.30, after rallying as high as $13.32 in early action. The stock opened at $8.26 on Thursday.

On the flip side, Movado Group, Inc (NYSE:MOV) is leading the Big Board laggards, after the watchmaker warned of a quarterly earnings miss and lowered its full-year sales outlook (subscription required). As a result, MOV has shed roughly one-third of its value today, plummeting to $25.60. Earlier, the equity tumbled to a two-year low of $25.11.

Daily Chart of MOV since August 2014

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.2 point, or 1.5%, at 13.58. On a weekly basis, the "fear barometer" is set for a 3.5% gain.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.85, as puts nearly double calls. SPY is fractionally higher at $204.24, and on pace for a weekly uptick of 0.4%.

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