Dow Jones Industrial Average Jumps 172 Points, Pares Stiff 3Q Losses

Dow Rallies 172 Points; Plus, The Market's Latest Scapegoat

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:49 AM
Updated on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:53 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is making a valiant effort to pare a portion of its monthly and quarterly losses, with the blue-chip barometer up more than 248 points at its intraday peak. This risk-on attitude has spread to other corners of the Street, as well -- with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) popping back above the 1,900 mark, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surging 1.4% as biotechs once again attempt a rebound. However, while the fourth quarter has historically been strong, coming off a dismal third quarter -- the worst since 2011, in fact -- could have bearish implications.

Looking ahead, this volatility could continue in the near term. Barring a government shutdown tonight, the September jobs number is slated to be released on Friday. Earlier, ADP said private payrolls rose by a better-than-expected 200,000 last month. Additionally, a handful of Fed speeches are still on tap.

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Among the stocks with notable call activity is Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), with the contracts crossing at four times the average intraday pace. Among the most active strikes is the semiconductor concern's January 2016 20-strike call, which is apparently being bought to close. Elsewhere, it looks as if one speculator may be rolling down her bullish bet from the October 17 call to the 15.50 strike. MU is up 4.2% at $14.99 ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated event.

One of the top decliners on the Big Board is Barracuda Networks Inc (NYSE:CUDA), which has shed 33.8% to churn at $15.60 -- and earlier bottomed at a record low of $15.46. Sparking the day's sell-off is weaker-than-expected fiscal second-quarter revenue, and a subsequent round of bearish brokerage notes. Separately, the security and storage expert said it has acquired data protection firm Intronis.

One of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq is Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC). News of a $3.78 billion investment has sent shares of the data storage specialist up 14.9% to $79.16 -- though WDC hasn't closed above its looming 40-day moving average since Sept. 10.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.5 points, or 5.4%, at 25.38.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.80, with puts easily outstripping calls. SPY is up 2.5 points, or 1.3%, at $190.58.


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