Dow Jones Industrial Average Down Another Triple Digits on OPEC

Crude oil plunged to a fresh five-year low

Dec 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM
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It's been a dreary week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI), and today is no exception. At midday, the 30-stock index was staring at a 156-point loss -- its third consecutive triple-digit intraday decline -- following OPEC's downwardly revised demand outlook and an unexpected rise in domestic crude inventories. In fact, the leading laggard on the DJI is oil-and-gas issue Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), which is down 3.5% following another bearish brokerage note, and earlier hit a new two-year low of $103.07. Meanwhile, crude for January delivery is lingering in fresh five-year-low territory at $60.83 per barrel.

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

  • How Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD) option bulls got burned.
  • Option traders are rolling the dice on an end-of-year rally for this rebounding gaming issue.
  • 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), which is bucking the broad-market trend lower to trade up 0.5% at $45.60. Since hitting their most recent low of $40.32 on Oct. 15, shares of MOS have surged 13%, and recently, have found a foothold atop their 32-day moving average -- currently located at $45. In the options pits, calls are crossing the tape at a rate nine times the intraday average, and it appears a number of speculators are betting on a bigger bounce from this newfound level of support over the next two weeks. Specifically, buy-to-open activity has been detected at MOS' weekly 12/12 45.50- and 46-strike calls, as well as the December 46.50 call.

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

One of the leading laggards on the Nasdaq is Mitcham Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIND). The equity has plunged 20.4% to $5.69 -- a new four-year low -- after the firm swung to an unexpected loss in its fiscal third quarter. Today's bearish gap only highlight's the security's withstanding technical struggles, with MIND staring at a steep 68% year-to-date deficit. Should the shares continue this downward trajectory, a round of bearish brokerage initiations and/or price-target cuts could be on the horizon. At present, the only analyst covering the shares has deemed them worthy of a "buy" rating. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $13.75 more than doubles the equity's current perch -- and resides in territory not charted since Aug. 19.

One of the major Big Board decliners is oil-and-gas issue Goodrich Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:GDP). The stock is down 10%, after the company reduced its 2015 capital expenditure budget, and said it will explore the sale of some of its Eagle Ford shale assets. Since topping out at a four-year high of $30.52 in early June, shares of GDP have shed 88% of their value. Pressuring the stock lower has been its 50-day moving average, and a swift rejection from here in late November helped push GDP to its current perch at $3.68. This negative price action is good news for one set of traders -- short sellers. Almost half of GDP's float is sold short, and would take more than nine sessions to cover, at average daily trading volumes.

Daily Chart of GDP Since June 2014 With 50-Day Moving Average

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.4 points, or 9.3%, to 16.27. The market's "fear barometer" is on pace to notch its loftiest close since Oct. 23.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.68, with puts easily outpacing calls. SPY is down 1.6 points, or 0.8%, at $204.92.

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