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

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 31, 2015 at 11:52 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

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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