Dow Jones Industrial Average Turns Lower With Crude; S&P 500 Tests 2K

Crude oil has resumed its downtrend after OPEC cut its 2015 forecast for global demand

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 15, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

After a quick trip north of breakeven earlier, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has reversed course, as disappointing earnings from a pair of big financial firms and a surprise move by the Swiss National Bank weigh on investor sentiment. Additionally, despite a brief respite in yesterday's session, crude oil has resumed its rout, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global demand in 2015. Against this backdrop, the Dow is down 45 points, while the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) is testing support atop the psychologically significant 2,000 mark.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is big box retailer Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY). The stock is off 12.8% at $34.79 -- and is on pace for its lowest daily close since mid-November -- after the company forecast dismal revenue figures for the first half of 2015. In the options pits, calls are trading at six times what's typically seen at this point in the day, with a healthy portion of the action centered at the February 40 strike. Drilling down, it appears one option trader is throwing in the towel on her bullish bet by selling to close a 9,960-contract block of the back-month calls.

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

After a devastating start to the week for mortgage loan firm Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN), the equity is one of the major advancers on the Big Board today. At last check, the shares were up 16.7% at $8.17 -- putting them on pace for their first daily gain in 2015, and paring their year-to-date loss to 45.9%. However, considering the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is docked at 13 -- deep in oversold territory -- a near-term bounce may have been in the cards.

Daily Chart of OCN Since December 2014

Similar to sector peer Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), health care concern Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ:PODD) received some bearish brokerage attention. Specifically, J.P. Morgan Securities cut its outlook on the shares to "neutral" from "overweight" and slashed its price target by $10 to $35, after the company offered up uninspiring words on the wearable insulin industry at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. As such, the stock is off 20.3% at $30.70 -- after earlier hitting a fresh annual low of $27.02 -- making it one of the biggest losers on the Nasdaq.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.9 point, or 4.2%, at 22.39, and on pace to notch its highest daily close since Dec. 16.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.18, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, SPY is down 0.9 point, or 0.5%, at $199.93.


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