Dow Jones Industrial Average Clings to Gains; Nasdaq Takes a Breather

Why Taylor Swift Should Sell Apple Options

Jun 23, 2015 at 12:01 PM
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After a strong start, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has pared some of its early gains. Partially overshadowing optimism regarding a Greek debt deal and a seven-year high in new home sales, traders are reacting to a bigger-than-expected drop in durable goods orders. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was able to tag another new record high, though it -- as well as the S&P 500 Index ​(SPX) ​-- was slightly lower at last check. 


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


  • Will earnings and a new blue-chip partnership send Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) shorts to the exits? 
  • Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner examines the Apple Inc. (AAPL) 'VIX' -- and offers some trading advice for Taylor Swift
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.




Among the stocks with notable call volume today is Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), with the contracts crossing at 21 times the expected intraday pace. Most of the volume is seemingly attributable to one trader, who bought to open 7,500 September 9 calls for $0.29 apiece. At this price, the trader paid over $200,000 for the bet (number of contracts * premium paid * 100 shares per contract). The trader will profit if GNW tops $9.29 (strike plus premium paid) by September options expiration -- just in time for a Fed rate hike? 


Green Dot Corporation (NYSE:GDOT) is by far the biggest advancer on the Big Board today, up 31.7% at $20.16, at last check. The huge upside move comes after the company announced a long-term MoneyCard agreement with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE:WMT), and thanks to some subsequent bullish analyst attention. GDOT has nearly erased all of its 2015 losses just today. 


One of the top losers on the Nasdaq is Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC). The stock is off 10.9% at $30.48 -- and on the short-sale restricted list -- after the company issued a cloudy outlook for the rest of the fiscal year. The security had been doing well prior to today, outpacing the SPX by over 12 percentage points in the past two months. Not everyone has turned against the stock, as Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $33 from $30 this morning. 




The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is sliding again, giving back 0.4 point, or 2.9%, at 12.37. 


Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.4, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY was last seen 0.1 point, or 0.1%, lower at $211.77. 


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