Dow Jones Industrial Average Gives Back Gains as 1Q Winds Down

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker thinks the case for raising interest rates is strong

Mar 31, 2015 at 11:52 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has pulled back from yesterday's huge win, as the first quarter draws to a close. On the economic front, traders are digesting a raft of data, including a sharper-than-expected increase in consumer confidence, a weaker-than-anticipated Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), and a mixed S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Meanwhile, crude is being pressured lower as an agreement nears that could ease sanctions on Iran, potentially resulting in additional supply. Finally, a number of central bank officials spoke earlier -- including Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, who expects "the case for raising [interest] rates will remain strong at the June meeting."

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

  • Why are short-term traders targeting Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)? It may have to do with this rumor.
  • J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) is having another huge day, sparking a surge in options trading.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put activity is Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), following big M&A news. The stock's puts are flying off the shelves at 33 times the expected intraday rate, with what looks like buy-to-open activity at the June 170 and 180 strikes -- CHTR's most active options. At last check, the security is up 7.6% at $197.23, and fresh off a record high of $199.

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

E Commerce China Dangdang Inc (ADR) (NYSE:DANG) is among the biggest winners on the Big Board, on the heels of a standout earnings report. Specifically, shares of the e-commerce firm were last seen up 14.2% at $9.57, which represents a break from the recent post-earnings trend. What's more, DANG is finally back in the black on a year-to-date basis.

Daily Chart of DANG Since January 2015

Biotech ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) is among the notable gainers on the Nasdaq, powered by a pair of upbeat analyst notes. At last check, the stock was 10.2% higher at $9.39, and has advanced more than 53% year-to-date.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is just above breakeven, up 0.1 point, or 0.9%, at 14.64.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.96, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY was last seen 0.6 point, or 3%, lower at $207.62.

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