Dow Jones Industrial Average Fights For Gains Before Fed Minutes

The Pharmaceutical Agreement Making Headlines

by Josh Selway

Published on May 20, 2015 at 11:48 AM
Updated on May 20, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Continuing the theme of the week thus far, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is experiencing an up-and-down session, with the index lower at last check. Besides earnings figures from names like Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Lowe's Companies (NYSE:LOW), traders are eyeing a major pullback among airline stocks, criminal charges for a handful of major banks, and an upward move from crude after the latest data showed a drop in supplies. The report du jour, however, will come courtesy of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest meeting minutes, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET. 

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT), with both calls and puts crossing at highly accelerated rates. One contract to note is the weekly 5/22 25-strike call, which it appears traders are buying to open in hopes of the shares topping $25 by week's end, when the options cease trading.  The shares are almost 48% higher today at $24.22, thanks to a drug development that was met with bullish analyst attention

One of the top gainers on the Big Board is contracting firm Dycom Industries, Inc. (NYSE:DY), which has added 18.1% to trade at $54.40, and earlier hit a 14-year-high of $54.99. The stock is gaining after the company reported strong fiscal third-quarter numbers and a current-quarter forecast above expectations. DY has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 23 percentage points in the past three months. 

Conversely, one of the top losers on the Big Board is airline name Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV), with shares falling 7.5% after issuing a current-quarter passenger revenue warning. At $37.86, LUV is set to close below its 160-day moving average for the first time since Sept. 4, 2013. 




The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.07 point, or 0.5%, at 12.92, as it makes a push toward 13. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.04, with puts barely edging out calls. SPY was last seen 0.1 point, or 0.04%, higher at $213.11.

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