Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips South of 18,000

The SPX is also trading lower, while gold futures are on the mend

Dec 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM
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After snapping its seven-session winning streak on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is once again in the red, down 54 points to trade south of the 18,000 level. Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has retreated from record highs, due to a combination of light volume, lingering concerns about Greece, and lackluster economic data. Specifically, home-price growth slowed down year-over-year in October, according to data from S&P/Case-Shiller, and the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose by less than expected in December. Against this backdrop, gold futures have climbed back atop $1,200 an ounce, thanks to an increased appetite for "safe haven" investments -- though crude oil futures are wavering near five-year lows.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option volume is commodities concern Civeo Corp (NYSE:CVEO), which has shed roughly half its value after suspending its quarterly dividend and issuing lackluster guidance. The stock is now trading at an all-time low of $4.11, and has been placed on the short-sale restricted list. Overall options volume is running at 17 times the intraday norm, with potential buy-to-open activity detected at the now deep-in-the-money January 2015 9-strike put.

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

Fellow oil-and-gas issue Emerge Energy Services LP (NYSE:EMES) is among the biggest losers on the Big Board, down 6.6% at $55.71. Since notching a record peak of $145.71 in late August, the shares of EMES have tumbled in step with crude oil prices, losing nearly 62%. The equity attempted to stage a rebound earlier this month, but was rejected at its descending 10-week moving average.

Weekly Chart of EMES since December 2013 with 10-Week Moving Average

One of the equities bucking the trend lower is Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (USA) (NYSE:AEM), which has added 6% to flirt with $25.25, thanks to a gold-inspired lift for metals stocks. AEM is now on pace to end atop its 50-day moving average for the first time since mid-August.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.5 point, or 3.6%, at 15.60, but could run into a roadblock in the form of its 20-day moving average, currently lingering near 16.23.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.14, with puts having a slight edge over calls. At last check, SPY is down 0.8 point, or 0.4%, at $207.95.


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