Dow Jones Industrial Average Stays Hot; S&P, Nasdaq Clear Hurdles

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Oct 23, 2015 at 11:55 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is closing out the week on a high note, thanks to a rate cut from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) -- which has directly impacted a number of individual stocks, as well. Also adding to the bullish momentum once again is a well-received round of earnings, including numbers from blue chip Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its tech-sector peers. In fact, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has now muscled back into positive year-to-date territory -- and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is back above 5,000 -- for the first time in two months.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is Internet giant Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), as intraday volume is running at quadruple the normal pace. The stock was last seen 8% higher at $735.79, and earlier hit an all-time peak of $752.50, following an earnings beat and stock buyback news. Eleventh-hour speculators are on the prowl, as the weekly 10/23 series accounts for the 10 most active strikes.

One of the Big Board's top performers is Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), which is bouncing back after a brutal week, ahead of the company's plans to address charges of fraud from Citron Research early next week. At last check, VRX was 7.1% higher at $117.62, but still 33.8% lower on the week.

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Among the leading losers on the NYSE is shoe aficionado Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX), which has lost one-third of its value to trade at $30.79. Triggering the sell-off is the company's downbeat earnings report, which drew the ire of the brokerage bunch.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.5 point, or 3.6%, at 14.97.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.45, with puts outstripping calls. At last check, SPY was up 1.9 points, or 0.9%, at $207.13.

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