Dow Jones Industrial Average Heads South on Grexit Worries

Crude is down for a second-straight session following the weekly inventories update

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 11, 2015 at 11:52 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has pared a portion of Tuesday's big gains, as traders cast a cautious eye overseas -- where a meeting of eurozone finance ministers is currently underway to determine the future of Greece's bailout program. Back on the home front, oil is down for a second straight session, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic stockpiles climbed from last week's record-high number. Against this backdrop, the DJI was last seen down 30 points, or 0.2%.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put volume is chipmaker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), as traders continue to target the contracts ahead of tonight's quarterly earnings report. Puts are crossing the tape at a rate 12 times the intraday average, with NVDA's February 19.50 strike garnering the most attention. It appears the majority of the buy-to-open activity here is of the protective kind, as one shareholder hedges against any post-earnings downside. At last glance, NVDA was down 0.1% at $20.92.

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

Tech titan AAPL is helping to keep the Nasdaq above water. At last check, the stock was up 2.1% at $124.15, after earlier topping out at an all-time peak of $124.18. Boosting today's price action is an early morning price-target hike and freshly inked deal with First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). Today's developments should please options traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), who have bought to open 2.43 calls for every put over the past 20 sessions.

Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR) is one of the leading laggards on the Big Board, after a dreary 2015 profit forecast was met with a round of bearish brokerage notes. The stock slumped to a three-year low of $11.38 out of the gate, but was more recently seen down 22.9% at $13.06. However, PIR seems to have found a footing atop its 80-month moving average, which served as support last October.

Monthly Chart of PIR Since February 2010 With 80-Month Moving Average

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up slightly at 17.25, but encountering resistance at its 50-day moving average.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.21, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, SPY is down fractionally at $206.77.

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