Dow Jones Industrial Average Higher as Bulls Cheer Crude Bounce

Crude is up, despite a larger-than-forecast rise in inventories

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:58 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

After shedding more than 460 points over the past two sessions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is in rally mode today -- up 170 points at 17,541.84. Additionally, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has taken a sharp bounce off the 2,000 mark to trade at 2,023.68, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is enjoying a 1.1% lead to linger near 4,642.95. Helping to boost the day's buying power is ADP's encouraging jobs report -- often seen as a precursor to Friday's nonfarm payrolls data -- as well as optimism ahead of this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) minutes from its latest meeting. Elsewhere, despite a larger-than-forecast rise in inventories, crude for February delivery is up 1.1% at $48.46 per barrel.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is network infrastructure specialist Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR). The stock is up 2.3% at $22.40 amid unconfirmed rumors of a possible bid from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), and calls are crossing the tape at a rate 18 times the intraday average. Buy-to-open activity has been detected at the equity's weekly 1/9 22.50-strike call, as speculators roll the dice on additional upside through week's end -- when the series expires.

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

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) is one of the major advancers on the Big Board, after the retailer's strong same-store sales growth in the holiday season was met with a pair of price-target hikes. Against this backdrop, the shares were last seen 17.8% higher at $7.73. Heading into today's session, the stock was staring at a nearly 20% year-over-year deficit, yet JCP's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 8.79 ranks at an annual bullish peak. With 35.8% of the equity's float sold short, though, some of this call buying may have been a result of short sellers hedging against any unexpected upside.

IT solutions issue Procera Networks Inc (NASDAQ:PKT) is one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq, after the company offered up a better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue outlook. As a result, the security has surged 19.6% to trade at $8.48. Today's bullish gap runs counter to the equity's withstanding trajectory, with PKT down 28% year-over-year; also, today's gains are being capped at the stock's 160-day moving average. This trendline -- currently located at $8.70 -- has been ushering the shares lower for the greater part of the last 52 weeks.

Daily Chart of PKT Since January 2014 With 160-Day Moving Average

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.2 points, or 5.6%, at 19.94, to test its footing atop the round-number 20 mark.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.34, with puts having the edge over calls. At last check, SPY is up 1.9 points, or 1%, at $201.74.

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