Dow Jones Industrial Average Dips; Energy, Inflation in Focus

Jobless claims rise, but durable goods reading brings hope

Josh Selway
Feb 26, 2015 at 12:21 PM
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U.S. benchmarks are mixed at midday, as Wall Street digests the latest batch of economic data, including the first year-over-year drop in consumer prices since 2009. With inflation on the radar, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's congressional testimony still fresh, investors are awaiting a speech on monetary policy from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart. Meanwhile, a rebound in durable goods orders is helping to offset a bigger-than-expected rise in weekly jobless claims, and the U.S. dollar is at a decade-plus high against the euro, adding to crude oil's woes. At last check, Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) have pulled back from record highs, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is bucking the trend to explore 14-year peaks.

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

  • 2 commodity stocks that were the victim of bearish analyst attention.
  • Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner discusses liquidity in today's market, and how it impacts volatility.
  • 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 call volume is oil-and-gas company Penn Virginia Corporation (NYSE:PVA), with the contracts changing hands at 14 times the normal intraday pace. What's more, the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has added 19.3% to hit 100.8%, amid reports the company could put itself up for sale.

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

Computing solutions provider Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) is one of the biggest movers on the Big Board today, jumping 11% to $69.78 -- and earlier touched an all-time high of $71 -- after increasing its full-year sales forecast. In response, no fewer than 19 analysts raised their price targets on the shares.

Hourly Chart of CRM Over the past 5 Days

Conversely, network solutions provider Inteliquent Inc (NASDAQ:IQNT) stands as one of the biggest Nasdaq losers today, last seen off 14.4% at $15.06, after reporting underwhelming fourth-quarter numbers. The equity has since been placed on the short-sale restricted list. Bearish traders must be jumping for joy, as the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.18 stands higher than 85% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting short-term speculators are more put-biased than usual.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.2 point, or 1.6%, at 13.62. The "fear gauge" is still facing overhead pressure from its 10-day moving average.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.64, with puts taking the advantage over calls. SPY is up 0.1 point, or 0.04%, at $211.70.


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