Dow Jones Industrial Average Rises On Strong Housing Data; S&P Hits New High

A gauge of homebuilder confidence hit its highest level in nearly nine years

Nov 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM
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Upbeat developments from overseas and a nearly nine-year high in homebuilder confidence has helped lift U.S. markets today. In fact, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) tagged a fresh record peak of 2,050.36 earlier, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) has recovered nicely from yesterday's slump to tag a new 14-year high of 4,705.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is also gaining ground -- up 44.7 points, or 0.3% -- but a poorly received earnings report from The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is capping the blue-chip barometer's advance.

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

  • The electronics name that's up more than 4% -- and notched a fresh 52-week peak -- on its CEO's bold new plan.
  • The Wall Street freshman rallying on news of an increased secondary offering.
  • 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 fertilizer firm Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS). The stock is up 3.9% at $47.02 amid a sector-wide rally, after Uralkali OAO -- a Russian rival -- stopped production and evacuated workers at one of its mines. MOS calls are trading at 18 times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and it appears traders are buying to open the equity's November 46.50 calls, as they bet on more upside through week's end.

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

One of the major Nasdaq advancers is TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ:TERP), which is up 30.3% at $33.68 on news it is entering into joint-ownership of Boston-based First Wind with SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE). The equity has now edged back above its late-July IPO price, and a continued rise could shake some of the weaker bearish hands loose. At present, 16.2% of the stock's float is sold short, and it would take more than six sessions to cover, at TERP's average daily pace of trading.

Along similar lines, SUNE is one of the major gainers on the Big Board, and has jumped 23.3% to $20.48. The stock is now up roughly 60% year-to-date, and trading north of previous congestion in the round-number $20 neighborhood. SUNE could also benefit from an unwinding of skepticism, as short interest accounts for 30.1% of the security's available float, representing almost a week's worth of pent-up buying demand.

Daily Chart of SUNE Since January 2014

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.5 point, or 3.7%, at 13.48, but appears to have found a foothold atop its 10-day moving average.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.48, as puts outpace calls. SPY is up 0.9 point, or 0.4%, after earlier hitting a record peak of $205.31.


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