Dow Jones Industrial Average Up Triple Digits; All Eyes on Fed

2 Stocks Soaring on Activist Endorsements

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Oct 28, 2015 at 12:02 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is comfortably higher at midday, thanks to solid earnings from Silicon Valley titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and a rebound in oil. Similar to the pre-Fed backdrop in September, energy is leading the charge; crude is bouncing back from two-month lows after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said gasoline and distillate stockpiles dropped by more than expected last week, even as oil supplies rose. Elsewhere, more merger-and-acquisition activity has amplified optimism about the collective corporate purse strings. As such, the DJIA is sitting on a triple-digit lead -- and its index peers are in the black -- ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) 2 p.m. ET announcement.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is mining concern Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), which is following gold stocks higher ahead of the Fed announcement -- and ahead of the company's turn in the earnings spotlight tonight. ABX is flirting with a 7.7% lead at $8.13, and calls are trading at four times the normal intraday pace, outnumbering puts by a roughly 5-to-1 margin -- par for the course, of late. It looks like traders are hoping for a long-term rally north of $8, buying to open January 2017 8-strike calls.

One of the Nasdaq's top performers is Vasco Data Security International, Inc. (NASDAQ:VDSI), which is up 11.8% at $19.76, as traders celebrate stronger-than-expected earnings and upwardly revised guidance for operating margin in 2015. 

Among the leading losers on the Big Board is microblogging concern Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which has shed 5.7% to sit at $29.57, after the company issued a lackluster sales forecast and was slammed by analysts. The security is now on pace to end beneath its 10- and 20-day moving averages for the first time since Oct. 1.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.6 point, or 4.2%, at 14.79.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.59, with puts handily outpacing calls. At last check, SPY was 1.3 points, or 0.6%, higher at $207.85.


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