Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips South of 18,000

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

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Dec 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

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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