Dow Jones Industrial Average Powers Higher on Energy, Auto Sales

January auto sales have been promising so far

Feb 3, 2015 at 11:46 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) headed higher out of the gate and hasn't looked back, currently up about 156 points, or 0.9%. Stoking the market's bullish flame has been an ongoing recovery in the energy sector, as well as encouraging developments out of Greece. As such, traders have largely shrugged off a bigger-than-anticipated decline in December factory orders. In other economic news, a number of automakers reported strong January sales data this morning, with additional numbers set for release later.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is Freescale Semiconductor Ltd (NYSE:FSL), with the contracts running at 44 times the usual intraday clip. According to data from Trade-Alert, a bull call spread has been initiated at the March 36 and 39 strikes -- where 10,000-contract blocks have been bought to open and sold to open, respectively. At last check, FSL was 0.6% lower at $31.82.

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

Oil-and-gas issue SM Energy Co (NYSE:SM) is among the notable gainers on the Big Board. Around midday, the shares have advanced 12% to trade at $45.82, helped by sector-wide tailwinds, as well as a pair of price-target hikes from Topeka Capital (to $56) and Scotia Howard Weil (to $51). Year-to-date, SM has already added roughly 19%.

Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), a manufacturer of 3-D printers, is the leading laggard on the Nasdaq. The shares have plummeted nearly 35% to hover near $52.12 -- and earlier touched a two-year low of $51.55 -- after offering up disappointing guidance.

Weekly Chart of SSYS Since September 2012

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.1 points, or 5.6%, to trade at 18.34.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.58, with puts outpacing calls. At last check, SPY is up 1.5 points, or 0.8%, at $203.45.


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