Weak Wal-Mart Forecast Hits Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow is underperforming its peers, thanks to WMT's lackluster guidance

by Elizabeth Harrow

Published on Feb 19, 2015 at 11:46 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is on shaky ground at midday, down roughly 19 points at 18,010.49 as investors weigh ongoing weakness in oil against the latest development in the Greek debt saga. On the other hand, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) have both eked out small gains, aided in part by a stronger-than-forecast reading on initial jobless claims. Well-received earnings from the likes of Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) are helping to offset some of the market's big-picture woes, though a downbeat fiscal 2015 forecast from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is responsible for the Dow's relative underperformance at midday. At last check, the blue-chip retail giant is down 2.7% to pace the index's 15 laggards.

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

  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tapped a new record high of $129.03 earlier, despite poaching accusations from an electric car battery manufacturer.
  • Put volume is skyrocketing on Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) ahead of tonight's earnings report.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option volume is Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP), with activity rising to eight times the usual level as the stock enters its second session under a short-selling restriction. Most of the volume is linked to a massive spread in the September series, where blocks of 30,000 contracts traded simultaneously at the 1-strike call and 0.50-strike put. At last look, MCP is up 3.8% at $0.91.

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

Castlight Health Inc (NYSE:CSLT) is one of the major NYSE movers at midday, plummeting 29.1% to $6.70 on the heels of a disappointing first-quarter revenue forecast. Earlier, CSLT tagged a new all-time low of $6.54. With short selling restricted on Castlight Health Inc amid today's sell-off, option volume on the stock has surged to 13 times the intraday norm.

Daily Chart of CSLT since November 2014

Meanwhile, Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI) is among the top Nasdaq laggards, down more than 8% to $7.17. Shares of ANGI spiked dramatically yesterday, jumping 59.5% post-earnings, but they're now backing down from resistance at their 200-day moving average (located at $7.89).

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has shed 0.3 point, or 1.9%, to 15.15. Today's pullback has the VIX extending its retreat from the crucial 15.50 level.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 3.12, with puts more than tripling calls. SPY is fractionally higher at $210.35, at last check.

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