Dow Jones Industrial Average Battles for Gains Following Blue-Chip Earnings

Why These 2 Stocks Are Burning Up the Charts

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 20, 2015 at 11:55 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has traded in a nearly 117-point range so far today, but was last seen modestly higher -- shrugging off blue chip International Business Machines Corp.'s (NYSE:IBM) severe post-earnings loss. Instead, the Dow is getting a lift from United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), all of which are comfortably higher on upbeat earnings. Wall Street is also digesting a bigger-than-expected bounce in housing starts, and the latest remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who spoke to the importance of reliable economic statistics.

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

 

  • How a $125 million deal has this stock up 175%.
  • What's sending Oprah's latest investment to its second consecutive day of colossal gains? Find out here.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, and other noteworthy stats at midday.




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Among the stocks with notable option activity is IBM, as intraday volume is running at seven times the norm. The Dow component was last seen down 5.3% at $141.37, after touching a nearly five-year low of $140.50 on downbeat guidance and a bevy of negative analyst notes. Weekly puts are in high demand, led by activity at IBM's 10/30 145 and 150 strikes.

One of the NYSE's worst performers is trash collector Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd (USA) (NYSE:BIN), coming off lackluster preliminary third-quarter revenue figures and a subsequent round of bearish analyst attention. At last check, the stock is down 15.7% at $22.83, and earlier hit a two-year low of $20.81.

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While one big-cap rival struggles, Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) is among the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq, 9.7% higher at $12 after a Wedbush upgrade to "neutral." Shorts may be covering their positions here, given ETSY's short-interest ratio (SIR) of 16.50 -- which indicates it would take over three weeks to repurchase all the stock's shorted shares, at its average daily volume.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.3 point, or 2.1%, at 15.30.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.64, with puts easily outstripping calls. At last check, SPY was flat at $203.37.


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