Pre-Earnings Optimism Lifts Dow Jones Industrial Average; RUT Makes History

The Russell 2000 Index (RUT) notched its highest perch on record earlier

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 13, 2015 at 11:49 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

After signaling a slow start amid some downbeat data overseas, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) reversed course shortly after the open as optimism sets in ahead of a slew of high-profile earnings out of the financial sector. This burst of buying power has spread elsewhere on the Street, with the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) notching its highest perch to date earlier. Additionally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) has found a comfortable footing above the highly watched 5,000 mark -- thanks to an analyst-induced rally for this streaming giant -- while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is also extending last week's impressive gains.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put activity is Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR), with the contracts crossing at 14 times the average intraday pace. The stock is in rally mode today, following a tip of the hat from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and was last seen up 4.3% at $8.25. Against this backdrop, it appears a number of option traders are throwing in the towel on their bearish bets, selling to close ARWR's May 7 put.

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

One of the major advancers on the Big Board is bookseller Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS). The stock is up 6..2% at $23.34, amid some upbeat attention from Craig-Hallum. What's more, the shares are back in the black on a year-to-date basis, and on track to close north of their 30-day moving average for the first time since March 9.

Daily Chart of BKS Since January 2015 With 30-Day Moving Average

Recro Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:REPH) is one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq, after the drugmaker completed its purchase of a handful of assets from Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS). At last check, REPH was up 25.3% at $13.99, after earlier hitting a record high of $14.70.

After closing last week at its lowest perch since early December, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.7 point, or 5.3%, at 13.24.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.06, meaning puts have the slight edge over calls. SPY was last seen 0.3 point, or 0.1%, higher at $210.30.

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