Dow Jones Industrial Average Fizzles with Oil; Greece in Focus

Crude oil has pulled back from its year-to-date highs on OPEC report

Apr 16, 2015 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is struggling just south of breakeven at midday, as crude oil's retreat and renewed anxiety out of Greece contend with a round of relatively upbeat earnings reports. In fact, crude -- which tagged its highest perch of 2015 on Wednesday -- has shed 1.2%, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said output jumped last month. Adding to the uninspiring backdrop are disappointing readings on housing starts, building permits, and weekly jobless claims (although the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose by more than expected). This lackluster price action is seen elsewhere on the Street, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) flirting with modest losses, despite huge rallies for Wall Street freshman Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) and this streaming video giant.

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

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put activity is SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), with the contracts crossing at eight times the average intraday pace. Put players are honing in on the $65 mark, with possible sell-to-open activity detected at the May 65 strike, and buy-to-open activity occurring at the April 65 strike. At last check, shares of the data storage specialist were off 5.4% at $67.30 after a disappointing turn in the earnings confessional was met with a round of downbeat analyst attention.

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

Oil-and-gas issue GulfMark Offshore, Inc. (NYSE:GLF) is one of the leading laggards on the Big Board. The stock is down 9.6% at $15.72, after Global Hunter Securities cut its price target on GLF to $17 from $19. Today's negative price action is nothing new for a stock that's surrendered two-thirds of its value since hitting an annual high of $46.82 in mid-June amid pressure from its descending 60-day moving average.

Daily Chart of GLF Since June 2014 With 60-Day Moving Average

Online travel agent Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO) is one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq -- and a top percentage leader on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) -- after the company's first-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates. At last check, the security has rallied 17.6% to linger near $12.09, but is encountering resistance near its year-to-date breakeven mark (located at $12.62).

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is attempting to reclaim a perch atop the 13 mark, up 0.2 point, or 1.3%, at 13.01.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.36, meaning puts more than double calls. SPY was last seen down 0.3 point, or 0.1%, at $210.18.


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