China, Greece Deal Dow Jones Industrial Average a Sharp Blow

Only one Dow component is in the green at midday

Karee Venema
Apr 17, 2015 at 11:57 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is sharply lower at midday, as developments from overseas cast a bearish light on the Street. Specifically, growing anxiety over Greece's fiscal state, as well as China's decision to lift short-selling restrictions, have the blue-chip barometer down triple digits -- and on pace to snap its two-week winning streak. In fact, 29 of the Dow's 30 components are sitting in the red -- led by a steep earnings-induced plunge for this credit card concern -- with General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) the sole advancer. Adding to the risk-off backdrop is a rise in the consumer price index (CPI), which could strengthen the case for a sooner-rather-than-later interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

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

midday market stats

Among the stocks with notable call activity is Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) , with the contracts crossing at 11 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. It looks like some speculators may be closing out their April 22 and 23 calls -- JNPR's two most active strikes -- ahead of tonight's expiration. At midday, the stock is off 2.1% at $23.77, after enjoying some analyst-induced upside earlier in the week.

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

PROS Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PRO) is one of the leading laggards on the Big Board, off 15.3% at $23.01. Last night, the software developer forecast a lower-than-expected first-quarter sales outlook, prompting price-target cuts from J.P. Morgan Securities (to $28), Stifel (to $35), and Pacific Crest (to $32). Year-to-date, shares of PROS are now off 16%.

Toymaker Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is one of the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq, after the firm's strong earnings report led to a pair of bullish brokerage notes. The stock is up 4.9% to trade at $26.51 -- paring its year-to-date deficit to 14.3% -- but appears to be running out of steam near its 20-week moving average

weekly chart of mat since april 2014 with 20-week moving average

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.7 point, or 13.3%, at 14.26, and on pace to close north of its 10- and 20-day moving averages for just the second time this month.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.73, meaning puts nearly double calls. SPY was last seen down 2.2 points, or 1.1%, at $208.15.


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