The Dow Flirts With Record Highs on Merger Monday

Dow Hits Record on Merger Monday; Plus, the Biotech That's Given Back 70%

May 18, 2015 at 11:42 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are exploring record intraday highs. On the economic front, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index -- today's only economic report -- unexpectedly declined in May. In addition, traders are eyeing a slew of M&A headlines, concerns about Greece, and the latest central bank comments ahead of this week's highly anticipated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes.  

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Among the stocks with notable call volume is LED focus Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), with the contracts crossing at four times the expected intraday amount. A ton of action has taken place at the weekly 5/22 30.50-strike call, and it looks like traders are buying it to open. By doing so, traders expect CREE to extend its gains above $30.50 through week's end, when the series expires. The shares are 5% higher at $31.25, at last check, on reports the company will take its power and radio-frequency unit public

One of the top gainers on the Nasdaq is diagnostic firm OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSUR), as volume is at unusually high levels. At last check, the shares were 13.5% higher at $6.78, on pace to close above their 10-week moving average for the first time since late January. 



One of the top losers on the Big Board is Ltd (NYSE:WBAI). The stock is down 6.5% at $17.19 ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings report, scheduled tomorrow morning. Over the past three months, WBAI has outpaced the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 17 percentage points. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.4 point, or 3.2%, at 12.78, but is still below its 10- and 20-day moving averages.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.77, with puts greatly outnumbering calls. SPY was 0.02 point, or 0.01%, higher at $212.46, at last glance. 



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