Energy, Pfizer Boost Dow Jones Industrial Average

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) hit a multi-year high earlier on well-received drug news

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 23, 2015 at 12:02 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Despite signaling a slow start, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is comfortably higher at midday, extending last week's gains. Helping to lift the Dow is biopharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), which is hitting 11-year peaks, thanks to a price-target hike and news that PFE and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) will resume testing of their pain drug. Additionally, traders appear to also be cheering oil's extended rise, which comes amid a cooling greenback and despite Saudi Arabia's uninspiring production outlook. At last check, crude for May delivery was up 0.4% at $46.76 per barrel.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is Inc (ADR) (NYSE:WUBA), with the contracts crossing the tape at 37 times the average intraday pace. Short-term contracts are in high demand, as WUBA's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility is up 12.7% at 44%. In fact, the stock's April 50 call has seen the most action -- due largely to one notable block -- and all signs suggest buy-to-open activity. At last check, WUBA was up 4.5% at $49.15.

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

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is one of the leading advancers on the Big Board, up 8.1% at $45.50 -- and on track to close north of its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 28. Today's positive price action is just an extension of last week's legal-related rally, and month-to-date, the nutritional supplements specialist is boasting a 47% lead.

Daily Chart of HLF Since July 2014 With 200-Day Moving Average

Over on the Nasdaq, biopharmaceutical firm ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) is one of the day's biggest gainers, with the shares up 16.5% at $8.67. Helping buoy the stock is news of a freshly inked deal with Japan's Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Year-to-date, shares of IMGN have now added an impressive 45.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has added 0.3 point, or 2.4%, to trade at 13.33, as it looks to stay above 13.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.37, with puts outnumbering calls. SPY was last seen 0.2 point, or 0.1%, higher at $210.65 -- roughly 2 points from an all-time high.

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