Blue-Chip Earnings Weigh On Dow Jones Industrial Average

2 Stocks Crushing It on Earnings; Plus, the Latest Buyout Buzz

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 21, 2015 at 12:08 PM
Updated on Apr 21, 2015 at 12:28 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) jumped out of the gate, but quickly reversed lower as traders digested the latest round of earnings reports. Specifically, blue chips United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) topped bottom-line estimates, but missed on sales -- while fellow Dow member DuPont (NYSE:DD) is sharply lower after cutting its full-year forecast due to strength in the dollar. In addition, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) topped earnings estimates, while the firm's sales were flush with the Street's consensus forecast. Taking a step back, although the blue-chip bellwether is struggling, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is solidly higher, while the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) is flirting with breakeven.

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

  • 2 stocks climbing the charts on positive post-earnings attention.
  • The pharmaceutical name that's surging on M&A buzz.
  • 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 option activity is Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), as the stock is fresh off a record high of $153.10 -- and currently up 4.2% at $152.64. The sharp upside move springs from an "outperform" initiation at Imperial Capital, which also set a price target of $170. Option volume on PANW is running at triple the usual intraday rate, with likely buy-to-open activity transpiring at the weekly 4/24 150-, 152.50-, and 155-strike calls, as well as the weekly 4/24 144-strike put.

Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) is among the biggest losers on the Big Board, after the company posted mixed quarterly results and cut its full-year sales guidance. At last check, the motorcycle stock was down 9.5% at $55.88, bringing its year-to-date deficit beyond 15%. HOG is also approaching its annual low of $54.22 from mid-October.

Daily Chart of HOG since October 2014


Voltari Corporation (NASDAQ:VLTC)
is one of the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq, as shares of the digital marketing firm have soared 38% to trade at $14.32 -- and earlier touched a multi-year high of $14.77. Despite the lack of a recent catalyst, the shares continue to benefit from late-March news that activist investor Carl Icahn upped his stake in the company.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.02 point, or 0.2%, at 13.32.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.28, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen up 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $210.05.


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