Dow Jones Industrial Average Dances Around 18K as Earnings, Data Hit the Street

Retail sales rose by a smaller-than-expected margin

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

After a brief foray south of breakeven, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has since moved back into the green -- and north of the highly watched 18,000 mark -- thanks to solid earnings from one blue-chip bank. However, the day's gains are being capped due to a round of mixed economic reports. Specifically, retail sales rose by a smaller-than-expected margin, the producer price index increased for the first time in five months, and business inventories climbed more than economists had forecast. Looking ahead, the week's rush of earnings from financial firms continues tomorrow morning, when former Dow component Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is slated to unveil its results.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put activity is Zillow Group Inc (NASDAQ:Z), with the contracts crossing at 12 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. The equity's April 80 put has received the most attention, and appears to be seeing a mix of buy- and sell-to-open activity. After tumbling to an annual low of $81.07 earlier in the wake of some dreary fundamental news, shares of the real estate issue were off 3.2% at $89.96 at last check.

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

The major advancer on the Big Board is China-based Internet issue Inc (ADR) (NYSE:WUBA). The stock is up 27.4% at $64.75 -- and earlier hit a record high of $64.89 -- on rumors the company could possibly merge with sector peer Year-to-date, shares of WUBA are now up 56%.

Daily Chart of WUBA Since January 2015

Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR) is one of the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq, following a tepid "hold" initiation and new $9 price target at Jefferies. After adding 1.1% on Monday in the wake of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nod, shares of the drugmaker are down 7.1% to trade at $7.43.

After topping out at 14.74 earlier, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has pared these gains to 0.02 point, or 0.1%, to trade at 13.96.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.14, meaning puts more than double calls. SPY was last seen fractionally higher at $209.15.

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