Greece Jitters, Dismal Data Spook Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Off Triple Digits; Plus, Beware of These 4 June Underperformers

by Karee Venema

Published on May 29, 2015 at 11:51 AM

It's been a fairly dismal short week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), and today's action is no exception. The 30-stock index is staring at a triple-digit loss at last check -- although not all components are in the red -- as traders digest a round of lackluster economic data. Specifically, the preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) reading showed the economy contracted in the first quarter, consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in six months, and factory activity in Chicago unexpectedly slowed. Additionally, Wall Street has one eye trained on Greece ahead of next week's big deadline. However, while it looks like the Dow is going to lose the week, the blue-chip barometer is comfortably on pace to win the month.

 

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

 

 

Midday Market Stats

 

Among the stocks with notable option volume is Deckers Outdoor Corp (NYSE:DECK), with the contracts crossing at 11 times the average intraday pace. The footwear firm is down 4.7% at $67.82 -- and on pace for its lowest weekly close since late January -- after DECK's dismal earnings report was met with backlash from the brokerage bunch. The security's weekly 6/5 74-strike call has seen the most action, and it appears as if speculators are buying to close the options -- a number of which were initiated yesterday.

Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK) is one of the biggest losers on the Nasdaq -- off 6.5% at $66.44 -- despite relatively upbeat earnings. What's more the software specialist received a bevy of bullish brokerage attention, although Canaccord Genuity dropped its price target on the shares to $83 from $86. Year-to-date, the security is still enjoying a 12.7% lead, with today's drop being contained by SPLK's 40-day moving average.

For the second day in a row, United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) is staring at sizable losses -- making it one of the leading laggards on the Big Board. Specifically, the shares are off 6.3% at $88.98, after BofA-Merrill Lynch downgraded URI to "underperform" from "neutral," and slashed its price target to $80 from $108 -- territory not charted since February 2014. However, despite the week's sell-off, the stock seems to have found a foothold atop its 100-week moving average, a trendline not breached on a weekly closing basis since September 2011.

 

Weekly Chart of URI Since September 2011

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.6 point, or 4.8%, at 13.95. The market's "fear gauge" has tacked on more than 15% this week, but remains roughly 4% lower on the month.

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.78, with puts nearly tripling calls. SPY is off 1.3 points, or 0.6%, at last check to hover near $211.16.

 


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