Greenback Slams Dow Jones Industrial Average; Crude Slips on IEA

The IEA warned that oil prices remain unstable

Mar 13, 2015 at 11:59 AM
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A rebound in the dollar has the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) once again staring at a triple-digit intraday deficit -- and sitting in the red for 2015. Gains in the greenback are also weighing on crude, which was last seen 4% lower amid the International Energy Agency's (IEA) predictions of a global supply glut and price instability. On the economic front, the producer price index (PPI) posted a surprise drop in February, while the preliminary March reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index pulled back from the prior month.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), with the contracts crossing at 18 times what's expected at this point in the day. Seeing the most attention is the March 160 call, where data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) suggests a mix of opening and closing activity. At last check, shares of the beauty retailer were up 3.5% at $149.86, and fresh off a record peak of $156.

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

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is the biggest gainer on the Big Board, buoyed by a possible FBI investigation into affiliates of Pershing Square Capital Management LP for allegedly trying to manipulate the stock. The hedge fund is run by Bill Ackman, a longtime critic of HLF. At last check, shares of the nutritional supplements marketer were 12.7% higher at $37.45.

Restaurant chain El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO) is among the Nasdaq's notable advancers, tacking on 12% to trade at $26.88 -- and bringing the stock's year-to-date lead to nearly 35%. Providing the equity with a lift are its latest quarterly results, which surpassed expectations.

Daily Chart of LOCO Since January 2015

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has added 1.3 points, or 8.4%, at 16.72, after falling below 16 yesterday.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.19, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen 2.1 points, or 1%, lower at $204.97.


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