Dow Jones Industrial Average Pops as ECB Signals Stimulus

Reports have surfaced that the ECB is mulling a $58 billion monthly bond-buying program

Jan 21, 2015 at 11:53 AM
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After spending most of the morning in the red, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has changed course, and was last seen up 50 points, or 0.3%, and on pace for a third straight daily win. While fear was initially sparked on uninspiring comments from one European Central Bank (ECB) governing council member, reports that the ECB's executive board has proposed monthly bond purchases of roughly $58 billion has bulls piling back on. Also helping boost the Dow is a 2.5% post-earnings pop for UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), which is overshadowing poorly received fourth-quarter results for fellow blue chip IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM).

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is brokerage firm FXCM Inc (NYSE:FXCM), with the contracts crossing the tape at 31 times the average intraday pace. Buy-to-open activity has been detected at FXCM's February and May 2.50 calls, as traders roll the dice on a big bounce over the next several months. Today, the stock is in recovery mode from yesterday's 87% plunge -- last seen 47.5% higher at $2.36 -- after KBW upped its outlook on the shares to "market perform" from "outperform." However, KBW slashed its price target even further, by $3 to $1.50.

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

Human resources specialist Insperity Inc (NYSE:NSP) is among the leading advancers on the Big Board. The stock has jumped 13.1% to $41.33 -- and earlier hit a seven-year high of $41.37 -- amid calls from one of its major shareholders to initiate a fresh round of cost-cutting measures, and explore a possible sale. Should the shares add to their 22% year-to-date gain, a round of bullish brokerage notes could come down the pike. Currently, 80% of covering analysts maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation, while the average 12-month price target of $34.75 stands at a discount to NSP's present perch.

Streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq, and was last seen up 17% at $408.17. Stoking the day's bullish bias is a stellar quarterly earnings report and subsequent round of bullish brokerage notes. On the charts, today's gap higher has NFLX headed for its first daily close north of its 200-day moving average -- which coincides with the round-number $400 mark -- since taking an earnings-induced stumble in mid-October.

Daily Chart of NFLX Since October 2014 With 200-Day Moving Average

In the wake of this morning's options expiration, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.8 point, or 3.9%, at 19.11.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.91, with puts nearly doubling calls. At last check, SPY is up 0.9 point, or 0.5%, at $202.99.


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