Greek Olive Branch Boosts Dow Jones Industrial Average; Nasdaq Hits New High

Greece's Olive Branch; Plus, Europe's 'Fear Gauge'

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Jun 22, 2015 at 11:49 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and its index peers came out swingin' this morning, thanks to signs of progress on the Greek debt front. An apparent olive branch from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has sparked optimism that the country can strike a deal with its creditors ahead of a key payment due at the end of the month. On the homefront, traders are eyeing a slew of M&A headlines, and solid housing stats are adding fuel to the bulls' fire. Against this backdrop, the Dow is up triple digits, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) has resumed its quest for all-time highs.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Ahead of earnings later this week, the semiconductor concern was hit with a round of bearish brokerage attention. While the stock initially fell, it's since climbed out of the red to a fractional gain, sitting at $24.49. MU options, meanwhile, are crossing at twice the average intraday clip, with some "vanilla" call buyers apparently purchasing the weekly 6/26 25.50-strike call, which will move into the money if MU topples the strike by the close on Friday, when the options expire.

One of the top gainers on the Nasdaq is Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ:EPZM). The biotech was last seen 29.3% higher at $26.83, after the firm  unveiled upbeat data on its lymphatic cancer treatment. EPZM is now more than 42% higher year-to-date, and is marking new 2015 highs.

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One of the top losers on the Big Board is media and merchandising firm Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO). The shares have shed 13.3% to linger near $6.05, after Sequential Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:SQBG) said it will buy the company for roughly $353 million, or $6.15 per share.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.3 points, or 9.6%, and is on pace for its lowest close since May 22.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.13, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, the SPY was 1.7 points, or 0.8%, higher at $212.46.


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