Dow Jones Industrial Average Flirts with Triple-Digit Lead on M&A Monday

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is expected to reveal its highly anticipated smartwatch this afternoon

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 9, 2015 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is flirting with triple-digit gains at midday, as investors attempt to come to grips with the possibility that a Fed rate hike could happen sooner rather than later, following Friday's jobs report. While M&A news has captured the Street's attention in a big way, focus will shift to the tech sector this afternoon when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to debut its smartwatch.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), with the contracts crossing at more than double the expected clip for this point in the session. At last check, the shares were up 1% at $2.95, and buy-to-open activity has transpired at the March 3 call, as option players roll the dice on additional upside over the next two weeks -- which covers the front-month contract's remaining lifespan.

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

Titanium producer RTI International Metals, Inc. (NYSE:RTI) is the top gainer on the Big Board, following news it will be acquired by Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA). At last check, the stock has added more than 40% to trade at $38.31, and earlier touched a three-year high of $38.87.

Drugmaker AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX) is the leading laggard on the Nasdaq, down 34% to hover near $5.77. The pullback follows the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) request that the company conduct an additional study on its pain treatment, Zalviso NDA, and subsequent bearish brokerage note. Earlier, ACRX skimmed a nearly two-year low of $5.07.

Weekly Chart of ACRX Since April 2013

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down fractionally at 15.18, but remains on pace to post its second straight close above 15 -- something that hasn't occurred since mid-February.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.23, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen up 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $208.08.

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