Dow Jones Industrial Average Fights Higher; Crude Sinks

2 Sinking Biotechs -- Is One the Next Enron?

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Updated on Oct 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has spent most of the day modestly higher, as traders digest the latest round of blue-chip earnings -- including better-than-expected results from Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) and mixed numbers from The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO). Fellow Dow component American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) will also report this evening. Elsewhere, traders are eyeing sinking crude futures, a number of M&A headlines, and news that activist investor Carl Icahn is launching a super PAC to fight for corporate tax reform.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is semiconductor issue KLA-Tencor Corp (NASDAQ:KLAC), as the contracts are crossing at 18 times the intraday norm. The stock has popped 23.3% at $66.40, following a newly announced $10.6 billion buyout. KLAC's most active option by a mile is the now in-the-money November 55 call, which is seeing a mix of buy-to-open and sell-to-close activity, per the International Securities Exchange (ISE).

One of the Big Board's worst performers is virtualization specialist VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), amid newly announced plans to form a new cloud business called Virtustream with parent company (and recent buyout target) EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), as well as an earnings beat. However, VMW also forecast weaker-than-anticipated revenue for the current quarter, resulting in bearish notes from no fewer than 18 analysts. At last check, the shares were down 17.5% at $56.70, and earlier hit a five-year low of $55.60.


Among the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq is Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), up 7.5% at $508.26. Lifting shares of the healthcare concern are better-than-expected quarterly results and a subsequent round of price-target hikes.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.8 point, or 5.1%, at 14.94.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.13, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, SPY was up 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $203.33.

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