Dow Jones Industrial Average Wobbles on Inflation, Housing Data

The dollar is trading higher, after inflation rose for the first time in fourth months

Mar 24, 2015 at 11:46 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is struggling for direction today, as traders digest the latest round of economic data. For starters, consumer prices rose for the first month in four, helping the dollar resume its trek north -- and increasing speculation the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, new homes sales hit their highest mark in seven years, while the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to its loftiest level since October, echoing similar data from overseas. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is staring at a modest gain, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is besting its peers -- and extending its lead above the highly watched 5,000 mark -- and the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) is within a chip-shot of notching a new all-time high.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable call volume is Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), with the contracts changing hands at three times the average intraday pace. In fact, eight of the 10 most active GOOGL options are calls, with the equity's weekly 3/27 575 and 580 strikes seeing the most action. At last check, GOOGL is up 2.3% at $578.15 amid reports of a new hire.

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

Oramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORMP) is the biggest gainer on the Nasdaq, up 61.6% at $7.50. While there appears to be no apparent news driving the shares, short sellers could be having a hand in the day's action. At ORMP's average daily pace of trading, it would take nearly three weeks to cover all of the equity's shorted shares, meaning a short-covering rally could be underway.

Over on the Big Board, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is one of the day's leading advancers, tacking on 4.3% to trade at $50.53. What's more, the shares have barreled through previous congestion in the $50 area, suggesting this level that has kept TWTR at bay since last October could now switch to a more supportive role -- a theory echoed by today's options traders.

Daily Chart of TWTR Since October 2014

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has shed 0.7 point, or 5.2%, to trade at 12.72 -- surrendering its perch atop 13.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.41, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen 0.3 point, or 0.1%, higher at $210.27.


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