Dow Jones Industrial Average Kicks Off July on a High Note

What This Rare S&P 500 Signal is Saying

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:02 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has put a dreary finish to June -- and the second quarter -- behind it, and is kicking off a new month and quarter in fine fashion. The 30-stock index is up triple-digits at midday, amid speculation Greece could finally reach a bailout agreement with its creditors (despite the country missing last night's critical deadline and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continuing to call for a "no" vote at Sunday's referendum).

Also helping boost the blue-chip barometer is an M&A halo lift for Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV), as well as a round of upbeat economic data. Specifically, private payrolls -- which were released ahead of tomorrow's jobs report -- rose more than expected, manufacturing grew at its fastest rate in five months in June, and construction spending jumped to its highest level since October 2008.

 

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

 

 

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Among the stocks with notable put volume is Apollo Education Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), with the contracts crossing at 26 times the average intraday pace. The for-profit educator is down 2.6% at $12.54 -- and fresh off a 15-year low of $12.51 -- extending Tuesday's sharp losses. One speculator is betting on the bleeding to stop near the $9 mark, by selling to open a block of 7,190 November 9 puts.

Chubb Corp (NYSE:CB) is among the top gainers on the Big Board, surging 30.5% to $124.18. Earlier, the stock topped out at record high of $129.44, on reports the insurance issue will be scooped up by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) in a more than $28 billion deal. Adding to the bullish bias is a price-target hike to $124.13 from $103 at Sandler O'Neill. Today's gap has CB in the black on a year-to-date basis.

 

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCHN) is helping to lead the charge on the Nasdaq. The stock is up 15.9% at $20.25, after BofA-Merrill Lynch upgraded SCHN to "buy" from "underperform," citing steadying scrap prices, cost-cutting measures, and an appealing valuation. While the security remains in the red year-to-date, today's bull gap has SCHN on track to close north of its 200-day moving average for just the second time since last September.

 

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.4 points, or 7.5%, paring its week-to-date advance to 19.5%.

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.98, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY is up 1.7 points, or 0.8%, at midday to linger near $207.50.

 


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