Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases Triple-Digit Lead in Tug-of-War Session

The Level Apple Bears are Targeting

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:12 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

It appeared the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was ready to rally following yesterday's 312-point smackdown, with the blue-chip barometer up more than 100 points at its intraday peak. Helping boost early gains was an unexpected rise in consumer confidence -- and, unlike in Asia, a rebound in energy names. However, the battle between bulls and bears is heating up, and, at last check, the 30-stock index had erased these gains.

Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is struggling to hold on to a modest advance at midday, despite a big biotech rebound. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) could be on pace to break its five-session losing streak, but ran out of steam earlier near the overhead 1,900 mark. Goldman Sachs cut its end-of-year forecast for the SPX to 2,000, which would mark the barometer's first year-over-year loss since 2011.

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Among the stocks with notable put activity is Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX), with the contracts crossing at 17 times the average intraday rate. The stock plunged 7.6% at the open, despite news of a successful mid-stage study for its RSV vaccine. Since then, the equity has been seen on both sides of breakeven -- last trading down 0.5% at $8.13 -- and option traders are targeting the equity's October 9 puts.

One of the top decliners on the Nasdaq is Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), which is off more than 36% at $22.39. The drugmaker was hit with a round of price-target cuts -- including one from Credit Suisse to $51 from $86 -- after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested additional information on its experimental cholesterol treatment, ETC-1002.

One of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq is Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:RJET). The stock is up 12.7% at $5.96, as reports the airline issue has come to a tentative agreement with pilots was met with a round of applause from the brokerage bunch. However, today's rally is running out of steam near the security's 80-day moving average.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.7 point, or 2.6%, at 26.92.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is1.52, with puts outweighing calls. SPY is up 0.5 point, or 0.3%,a t $188.55.


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