Dow Jones Industrial Average Slumps Amid Pre-Fed Anxiety

Bold Calls on Alibaba, Apple; Plus, How to Predict Volatility

Sep 14, 2015 at 12:07 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJIA) pre-market trend lower hasn't relented, with the blue-chip bellwether giving up ground following a big weekly win. Today's steady churn south stems from a rough day overseas, as well as uncertainty surrounding this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting -- which could trigger the first rate hike in years. Meanwhile, on the S&P 500 Index (SPX), the energy sector is among the biggest losers, as China's disappointing industrial production numbers raise fears of slowing demand for crude oil.

 

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

 

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Among the stocks with notable put volume is oil-and-gas issue Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), with the contracts crossing at 12 times the expected intraday rate. Almost all of the activity has transpired at the October 8 strike, where close to 195,000 contracts have been exchanged -- mostly the result of one trader possibly liquidating 97,000- and 97,500-contract blocks. At last check, CHK has jumped 3.8% to hover near $7.86.

 

One of the top gainers on the Nasdaq is Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AQXP), on news that one investment firm has upped its stake in the drugmaker. At last check, AQXP was 5.3% higher at $18.18.

Timkensteel Corp (NYSE:TMST) is one of the leading losers on the Big Board, with shares of the commodity concern down more than 18% at $12.79 -- and fresh off a record low of $12.69. Weighing on TMST is the company's weak current-quarter forecast, as well as a subsequent downgrade to "market perform" from "outperform" at Cowen and Company, which also slashed its price target to $12 from $28.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.7 points, or 7.1%, at $24.85, rebounding above the crucial 23.90 level.

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.33, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, the SPY was down 1 point, or 0.5%, at $195.73.

 

 

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