Dow Jones Industrial Average Climbs Higher After Early Dip

The Biotech Posting Insane Gains; Plus, the Latest Lumber Liquidators Drama

May 21, 2015 at 11:55 AM
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As has been the case all week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) simply doesn't want to pick a direction. At last check, the index was barely above breakeven, but still off  the record-high levels seen earlier this week. A mixed bag of economic data isn't helping the Dow break out of its range, with traders digesting an uptick in both leading indicators and unemployment claims, and a surprise downturn in existing home sales. Elsewhere, crude is moving higher again, toppling the round-number $60 mark. 

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Among the stocks with notable options volume is NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), which hit a two-year low of $30.90 earlier after issuing a disappointing current-quarter forecast. The data storage issue was last seen off 11.7% at $31.20 -- putting it on the short-sale restricted list (SSR), and forcing bearish traders to the options pits. Puts are crossing at 20 times the expected intraday pace, with possible buy-to-open activity at the weekly 5/29 31-strike put, as traders bet on NTAP extend its journey to new lows through the end of next week, when the contracts expire.  

A strong first-quarter earnings report and subsequent price-target hike has Youku Tudou Inc (ADR) (NYSE:YOKU) at the top of the Big Board, as the shares earlier touched an annual high of $27.40. The video sharing name was last seen 14.6% higher at $26.39, bringing its 2015 lead to over 48%. 

One of the top losers on the Big Board is consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation (NYSE:BAH). The company's quarterly numbers and fiscal-year guidance missed expectations, and now the shares are 9.1% lower at $25.91 -- and also on the SSR list. With the dip, BAH is back in the red on a year-to-date basis




The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.5 point, or 3.6%, at 12.42. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.23, as puts are outpacing calls. The SPY was last seen sporting a 0.4-point, or 0.2%, lead at $213.29. 




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