Merck Pulls Dow Jones Industrial Average Out of the Red

Dow Bounces Back Ahead of Fed; Plus, Apple's New Record

by Josh Selway

Published on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:05 PM
Updated on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:11 PM

It's already been a choppy day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Futures on the index pointed to a slow start out of the gate, but the blue-chip bellwether has since traded on both sides of breakeven, last seen modestly higher. Traders have plenty of earnings figures to take in -- including an earnings beat from Dow component Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) -- plus, the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day policy-setting meeting is underway. On the economic front, the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey came in below expectations for April, while the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index gained 5% year-over-year in February. Elsewhere, gold was higher at last check, while crude has pared earlier gains on reports that Iran has seized a cargo ship.

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

  • Why VASCO Data Security International, Inc. (NASDAQ:VDSI) is one of the top gainers on the Nasdaq, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to reach new heights.
  • Which side of the "bubble talk" are you on? Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner gives his take on the issue.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.
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Among the stocks with notable call activity is United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS), with the contracts crossing at 12 times the expected intraday rate. It looks like traders are buying to open the May 100 call, expecting extended gains above the century mark before front-month options expire at the close on Friday, May 15. Shares of the delivery service were last seen 3.4% higher at $100.75, thanks to well-received first-quarter numbers.

1-800-Flowers.Com Inc (NASDAQ:FLWS) shareholders are smelling the roses today, with the stock sitting among the top Nasdaq gainers at midday. Shares of the florist were last seen 15% higher at $12.47, after the company reported a surprise third-quarter profit. Now, FLWS has tacked on over 51% in 2015.

Container Store Group Inc (NYSE:TCS) has dropped over one-fifth of its value, last seen at $17.26, making it the biggest loser on the Big Board today. The company announced fiscal fourth-quarter numbers that were well below expectations, prompting a round of negative brokerage attention. Short sellers couldn't be happier. Short interest represents over one-quarter of the retail stock's float, and would take close to three weeks to repurchase, at average daily volumes. TCS is now back in the red on a year-to-date basis with today's losses.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.2 point, or 1.7%, at 12.90.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.07, with puts doubling calls. SPY was last seen up 0.3 point, or 0.2%, at $210.44.


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