Dow Jones Industrial Average Struggles as Oil Breaches $49

The ISM's non-manufacturing index fell by more than expected last month

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jan 6, 2015 at 11:53 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) continues to blaze a path lower -- last seen off roughly 140 points, or 0.8% -- as an ongoing sell-off in crude weighs on investor sentiment. In fact, liquid gold earlier fell to a more than five-year low, breaching $49 per barrel. Also pressuring U.S. equities were a pair of economic reports, as November factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index for December both dropped by a wider-than-expected margin. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is down 0.8% to test its footing just north of the round-number 2,000 level.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put volume is fraud-protection specialist Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK), which is down 2.1% to trade at $14.92. Specifically, puts are crossing at 22 times the average intraday rate. The majority of this volume can be traced to one individual who sold to open 20,000 February 14 puts, according to Trade-Alert -- just a day after a 12,300-contract lot was sold to open at the same strike. In other words, this trader is confident that LOCK's recent downtrend will be contained in the coming weeks by the $14 level.

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

While Coach Inc (NYSE:COH) is up slightly on its decision to buy Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC, rival Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS) is among the biggest losers on the Big Board today. Specifically, the handbag designer is off 7.4% to trade at $67.61, after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform" and slashed its price target by $24 to $79 -- though this isn't entirely surprising, given the equity's longer-term struggles. Earlier, KORS reached a fresh annual low of $66.40, as well.

Daily Chart of KORS Since January 2014

By contrast, biopharmaceutical firm Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NERV) is leading the Nasdaq's list of gainers, following encouraging drug trial data. Specifically, the shares have tacked on more than 31% to hover near $7.76, and earlier hit a record high of $10.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 2.1 points, or 10.3%, at 21.97. The market's "fear gauge" hasn't settled a session north of 21 since mid-December.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 3.17, with puts more than tripling calls. At last check, SPY is down 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $201.10.


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