Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Gains

DuPont Defeats Peltz; Plus, 3 Defense Stocks on Pins and Needles

May 13, 2015 at 11:55 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has erased most of its earlier gains and is now sitting just above the flatline, following a disappointing retail sales report and a steep slide for DuPont (NYSE:DD). In other economic news, business inventories increased by a slimmer-than-projected margin, and crude inventories surprisingly declined -- sending oil futures higher. Also, traders continue to keep a close eye on bond yields, which are sitting just below Tuesday's six-month peak.


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Among the stocks with notable option volume is online retailer Vipshop Holdings Ltd - ADR (NYSE:VIPS), where contracts are crossing at 19 times the expected intraday rate. Digging deeper, it looks like traders are buying to open the June 20 put ahead of tonight's first-quarter earnings release, and amid a dispute with short sellers. After initially plummeting, VIPS has turned higher and was last seen up 3.9% at $26.79.


The top advancer on the Big Board is energy giant Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ), after the company was acquired by Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB). At last check, WPZ was 22.5% higher at $58.05 -- just above the bid price of $55.86 per share.


Daily Chart of WPZ Since December 2014

One of the leading laggards on the Nasdaq is biopharmaceutical firm Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), down 14.3% at $5.08. The shares have been feeling the heat for the past two sessions, after the termination of a study on obesity treatment Contrave, due to prematurely released results.


The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.3 point, or 2.2%, at 13.55.


Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.59, with puts outnumbering calls. At last check, SPY was up 0.3 point, or 0.1%, at $210.27.


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