Dow Jones Industrial Average Bounces Back, Led By Home Depot

Home Depot Inc (HD) is rallying along with homebuilders today

Dec 31, 2014 at 11:50 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is back atop the round-number 18,000 level, up 44 points at midday. Traders are seemingly shrugging off another down day for beleaguered crude oil, as well as a bigger-than-expected uptick in weekly jobless claims and a weaker-than-expected Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI). On the upside, November's pending home sales edged past expectations, resulting in a sector rally for homebuilders and blue chip Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), which is currently leading the 30 Dow components, up 1.5%. For the year, the Dow is set to add nearly 9%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is on pace for a 12.7% gain, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is flirting with a 14.8% surplus. (However, those gains pale in comparison to the Shanghai Composite's meteoric rise.)

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option volume is video game maker Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), which is once again being targeted by bulls. Intraday call volume is running at nearly twice the average clip, with nearly all of the action transpiring at the January 2015 21-strike call. By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers expect ATVI -- currently 0.7% higher at $20.39 -- to extend its upward momentum and topple $21 by mid-January.

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

In light of oil's slide, airlines are getting a lift. Among them, United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) has soared 2.1% to $67.44, and earlier touched a record high of $67.77. For 2014, UAL is on pace to notch an impressive 78.4% gain.

Weekly Chart of UAL since January 2014

After nearly tripling in value on Tuesday, Neuroderm Ltd (NASDAQ:NDRM) is the biggest loser on the Nasdaq today, down 17.8% at $14.91. The drugmaker yesterday reported encouraging data on its Parkinson's treatment, and the stock's subsequent surge resulted in a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 86 -- in overbought territory. In other words, it looks like some NDRM traders are booking profits today.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.5 point, or 3%, at 16.39. For the year, the "fear gauge" is set to end 19.5% higher.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.67, with puts outpacing calls. At last check, SPY is up 0.3 point, or 0.1%, at $207.89.


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