Dow Jones Industrial Average Fades as Fed Looms

The Rising Tide of Fear; Plus, 4 Breakout Drugmakers

Jun 17, 2015 at 12:04 PM
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After a strong start, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is struggling to stay positive ahead of this afternoon's highly anticipated Fed policy decision and subsequent press conference with Chair Janet Yellen. Overseas, Greece remains the focus, as leading negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos said the nation would make "economically viable" concessions to its creditors, but won't touch existing pension payouts. He also confirmed Greece does not have sufficient cash to make its scheduled debt payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), due later this month.

 

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Among the stocks with notable call volume is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), with the contracts crossing at 22 times the usual intraday rate. Data from Trade-Alert suggests traders are buying to open positions at a number of strikes, including the July 2.50 call, in the hopes of extended gains. The semiconductor stock is currently up 5.5% at $2.48, after the firm presented at the Electronic Entertainment Expo yesterday.

 

One of the top gainers on the Big Board is Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU), following a bid to go private. At last check, shares of the Internet company were up 7.6% at $71.08 -- their first foray north of the round-number $70 level since early December.

 

The leading laggard on the Big Board is Goodrich Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:GDP), down 15.8% at $1.81 and fresh off a decade-plus low of $1.80 -- though the downward catalyst remains unclear. The energy stock has now surrendered close to 94% of its value over the past 12 months.

 

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.03 point, or 0.2%, at 14.84.

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.21, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, SPY was up 0.05 point at $210.30.

 

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