Dow Jones Industrial Average On Pace For Worst Month In Three Years

Are Selling Climaxes a Bullish Signal? Plus, The Oracle of Omaha's Oil Play

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 31, 2015 at 11:54 AM
Updated on Aug 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is well off its early morning lows, the big-cap bellwether remains in the red. Energy stocks are leading the losers today, with crude oil sharply lower. Fresh China concerns -- and reports of shady behavior that fueled major volatility -- are also weighing on traders' minds, on top of the impending September Fed rate hike decision. As of now, the Dow is facing a roughly 6.1% decline for August -- its largest monthly setback since May 2012. 

 

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

 

 

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Among the stocks with notable call activity is retailer J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP). The stock's call volume has nearly tripled put volume thus far, as traders are seemingly buying to open the weekly 9/4 11 9.50-strike call, expecting more upside in the next few days. JCP is 3.6% higher today at $9.27, after Deutsche Bank raised its opinion to "buy" from "hold," and upped its price target by $2 to $12. 

 

One of the top gainers on the Big Board is workout destination Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE:PLNT). Shares of the Wall Street newcomer have bounced 5.5% to $17.71, after a bevy of positive analyst notes this morning. PLNT is still 16.8% off from its all-time high of $20.68 from earlier this month. 

 

Beauty salon operator Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS) is near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), after being hit with a downgrade to "sell" at Northcoast. The shares have given back 4.7%, putting them at $11.15, and earlier hit a six-year low of $10.94. 

 

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1 point, or nearly 4%, at 27.08, as it continues to ride atop its 10-day moving average. 

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.86, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY was last seen 1.2 points, or 0.6%, lower at $198.04. 


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