Dow Jones Industrial Average Hits Fresh Peak; Energy Rally Lifts S&P

Domestic crude inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels last week

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) hit a record intraday high of 17,905.33 earlier, and was last seen roughly 3 points above breakeven -- but on its way to notching another new all-time closing peak. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has tacked on 0.2%, thanks to a rise in the energy sector. In fact, crude for January delivery was last seen 61 cents, or 0.9%, higher at $67.49 per barrel, after the Energy Information Administration said inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels last week. Elsewhere on the economic front, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) services index rose by a wider-than-expected margin, private payrolls missed the mark, and productivity grew, while labor costs declined. Looking ahead, the Fed's Beige Book is slated for release at 2 p.m. ET.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is automatic testing equipment specialist Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE:TER). The stock is up 1.9% to trade at $20.15 -- on no apparent news -- and call volume has swelled to 11 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. Most active are TER's January 2015 17- and 20-strike calls, where it appears new long positions are being initiated.

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

One of the major Nasdaq advancers is clothing and accessories manufacturer G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII), which is up 12.6% to $94.95 -- and earlier hit a record peak of $95.20 -- thanks to a better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings report. Year-to-date, the shares have climbed 28%, yet sentiment is skewed toward the skeptical side. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), GIII's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.10 ranks in the 76th percentile of its annual range. Outside of the options pits, short interest accounts for 7.7% of the stock's available float, and would take nearly two weeks to cover, at average daily trading volumes. Should GIII continue its uptrend, a capitulation from these bears could help propel the shares higher.

Daily Chart of GIII Since January 2014

Elsewhere, oil-and-gas firm Emerge Energy Services LP (NYSE:EMES) is one of the biggest gainers on the Big Board. At last check, the stock was up 6.5% at $60.77, despite a price-target cut to $100 from $130 at Wunderlich Securities (although the brokerage firm reiterated its "buy" rating). It's been a volatile week for EMES, which plunged nearly 13% on Monday. Longer term, though, the shares have struggled since hitting a record high of $145.71 in August, and are down more than 58% from this peak. In spite of this, six out of seven covering analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating, versus one "hold" and not a single "sell." Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $115 stands at an 89% premium to current trading levels.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.3 point, or 2%, to 12.59, and on pace for a second consecutive close south of its 10-day moving average.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.44, with puts outpacing calls. SPY is up 0.4 point, or 0.2%, at $207.45.


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