Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases Early Gains as Apple Weighs

Apple Drop Ices Dow; Plus, 2 Soaring Biotechs

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

What appeared to be a strong start to the fourth quarter has since dissipated, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down triple digits at midday -- amid Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumor-related sell-off. Traders are also digesting a less-than-inspiring round of economic data, including a two-year low in the ISM's manufacturing index, as well as a slight rise in weekly jobless claims. Additionally, ahead of tomorrow's slate of Fed speeches -- and big jobs number -- Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker told The Wall Street Journal, "I don't see why not," when asked about an October rate hike. Lacker added, "We will have another labor market report. Presumably that will move us further toward labor market improvement."

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Among the stocks with notable put volume is NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), with the contracts crossing at four times the average intraday rate. After rallying to a fresh four-year high of $24.72 out of the gate, the chipmaker has erased these early gains -- and all of yesterday's analyst-induced advance -- to trade 4% lower at $23.67. Drilling down, it looks like one speculator may be rolling her bearish bet up to the October 24 put from the 23 strike.

One of the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq is Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX), with the shares down 12.9% at $11.26. At its annual investor day on Wednesday, the shoe concern lowered its third-quarter sales forecast, prompting a round of bearish brokerage notes this morning. Included in the bunch was a downgrade to "neutral" from "overweight" at Piper Jaffray, which also lowered its price target to $12 from $17.

One of the top decliners on the Big Board is Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), with the shares off 6.2% at $25.26. Yesterday, the microblogging name rallied on speculation Jack Dorsey could be named permanent CEO as soon as today, but investors are growing anxious waiting to hear the C-suite confirmation.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.1 point, or 0.5%, at 24.39.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.15, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY is down 0.9 point, or 0.5%, at $190.73.


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