Dow Jones Industrial Average Makes a Big End-of-Week Move; Yellen on Tap

The final reading on fourth-quarter GDP was unchanged at 2.2%

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 27, 2015 at 11:54 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

It was a rough start, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has managed to muscle its way above breakeven, as traders brush off the final fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading of 2.2% -- unchanged from the preliminary reading. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is also higher, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is enjoying a biotech-fueled lift (although not all drugmakers are participating in the sector-wide rally). It seems after four straight days of losses, bargain hunters have emerged; however, all three major market indexes are poised for big weekly losses. Looking ahead, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is slated to take the podium shortly before the close, in what could potentially be a precursor to next week's slate of speeches from central bank officials.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option activity is GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), with volume running at six times the average intraday pace. The stock is off 0.4% at $38.65, after the video game guru's dismal turn in the earnings confessional was met with a round of downbeat analyst attention. It seems some traders are eyeing additional losses through tonight's close, though, and are buying to open GME's weekly 3/27 36-strike put. Meanwhile, with the uncertainty surrounding earnings out of the way, the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has plunged 30.2% to 33.9%.

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

Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN) is one of the leading advancers on the Big Board -- up 22.7% at $33.35, after earlier topping out at a record peak of $34.34. Traders are cheering news of the chemical company's roughly $5 billion deal with Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW). Year-to-date, shares of OLN have now added 46.5%.

Daily Chart of OLN Since December 2014

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) is helping to lead the Nasdaq higher today, after Deutsche Bank boosted its price target on the shares, citing optimism surrounding a potential buyout. At last check, the security was up 12.9% at $130.48 -- after topping out at an all-time high of $133.54 -- extending its year-over-year lead to 97%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.4 point, or 2.6%, at 15.39 -- surrendering its short-term foothold north of its 40-day moving average. However, the market's "fear gauge" is on pace to notch an 18% weekly gain.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPY is 1.67, with puts outpacing calls. SPY was last seen 0.2 point, or 0.1%, higher at $205.50.

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