Dow Jones Industrial Average Dives On Global Jitters

Pre-earnings option volume has picked up on Panera Bread Co (PNRA)

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 9, 2015 at 11:40 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has started the week on a sour note -- down 50.5 points, or 0.3%, at midday -- as a trio of concerning overseas developments weighs on investor sentiment. For starters, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said over the weekend he intends to put a stop to austerity measures that are a requirement of the country's bailout program. Additionally, escalating violence in Ukraine and disappointing trade data out of China are helping to stoke the bearish flames. Meanwhile, oil is continuing to climb, as a drop in U.S. rig counts and a downwardly revised 2015 supply-growth outlook from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries help to buoy black gold.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option volume is fast-casual restaurateur Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), where contracts are crossing the tape at 10 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. Ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report -- slated for release after Wednesday's close -- speculators appear to be buying to open February 175 puts. At last check, PNRA was up 0.7% at $174.13.

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

Teen retail chain Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) is one of the leading laggards on the Big Board. The stock is off 4.7% at $24.56 -- and earlier hit a five-year low of $23.83 -- following some negative analyst attention. Year-to-date, the shares have shed 14.2%, and should this downward trajectory continue, another round of bearish brokerage notes could be on the horizon. Currently, not one of the 24 analysts covering the shares maintain a "sell" rating, and the average 12-month price target of $31.63 stands at a 29% premium to present trading levels.

Drugmaker Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is one of the biggest gainers on the Nasday today, following some strong results for its hepatitis C drug. At last check, the equity was up 12.1% to trade at $12.13 -- but is encountering resistance near its year-to-date breakeven mark, located at $12.25.

Daily Chart of ACHN Since February 2014 With Year-to-Date Breakeven Mark

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.1 points, or 6.3%, at 18.37.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.93, with puts nearly doubling calls. At last check, SPY is down 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $205.32.


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