Dow Jones Industrial Average Gives Up Gains on Energy Sell-Off

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported mixed fourth-quarter earnings

by Alex Eppstein

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has pulled back from an early lead, and is now sitting on a triple-digit loss amid a drop in the price of crude oil. The commodity is being hit by the International Monetary Fund's downgraded global economic outlook for 2015 and 2016. Also weighing on the Dow -- currently sitting 160 points, or 0.9%, south of breakeven -- is a mixed fourth-quarter earnings report from blue chip Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Elsewhere, the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index unexpectedly dipped this month.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put volume is teen apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO), with the contracts running at 17 times the average intraday pace. Digging deeper, buy-to-open activity is detected at the in-the-money March 3 put. At last check, ARO shares were 8.4% lower at $2.72, following a late-Friday price-target cut to $4.25 from $4.50 at Susquehanna (which nonetheless maintained its "positive" rating).

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

Retailer Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) is the leading loser on the Big Board -- tumbling 16% to trade at $12.13 -- after the firm ended deal talks with Sycamore Partners. The stock is now sitting just a stone's throw away from its annual low of $11.80, touched in late May.

Drugmaker Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) is among the Nasdaq's biggest losers once again, despite the lack of a notable driver. Currently, the shares have skidded 10.5% to trade at $73.95, but remain more than 28% higher year-to-date. Today's pullback has so far been contained by the round-number $70 level.

Daily Chart of KITE Since July 2014 with 20-Day Moving Average

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.2 point, or 1.1%, at 21.19.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.82, with puts nearly doubling calls. At last check, SPY is off 1.3 points, or 0.6%, at $200.33, but is finding support at the key 200 level.


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