Bulls Hit the Bricks as Yemen Strikes Fear; Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges

Crude oil has moved back above the round-number $50 mark

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:59 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

It's Groundhog Day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) staring at another big loss at midday. Today's sell-off comes courtesy of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia initiated airstrikes against the country -- an operation that is reportedly being supported by the White House. Conversely, this is having a positive effect on oil, which was last seen back above the round-number $50 mark. Back on the homefront, traders are digesting the latest weekly jobless claims, which dropped to a five-week low, as well as speeches from a pair of Fed officials. Specifically, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard's calls for the Fed to normalize monetary policy were followed up by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart's stance that interest rates should be raised mid-year at the earliest, given "mixed signals" in the economy.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option activity is Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), with volume running at eight times what's typically seen at this point in the day. The stock is up 8.7% at $65.26, after the yoga apparel issue tried to soothe investors' concerns over its lackluster forecast, explaining the delayed inventory is a result of weather conditions, and is only a temporary setback. Most active is the equity's weekly 3/27 65-strike call, which is apparently being sold to close ahead of tomorrow's expiration.

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

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) is one of the biggest losers on the Nasdaq, off 16.5% at $67.78 -- after earlier hitting a new annual low of $66.11. Traders are responding to a dreary revenue outlook for the current quarter and full year, as well as a subsequent swarm of bearish brokerage notes. Year-to-date, shares of SNDK are off 31%, and are on pace to close south of their 40-day moving average for the first time since March 3.

Daily Chart of SNDK Since January 2015 With 40-Day Moving Average

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO) is one of the leading laggards on the Big Board. The stock has shed 14.4% to linger near $20.34, after the motor home maker's fiscal second-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' estimate. Due to today's drop, shares of WGO are now sitting in the red on a year-to-date basis.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.3 point, or 2.1%, at 15.77, and on pace to notch its second close north of its 40-day moving average since Feb. 9.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.97, with puts roughly doubling calls. SPY was 0.01% lower at $205.70.


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