Rate-Hike Hints Hamper Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Scandalous Drugmaker Catching Icahn's Eye

Nov 4, 2015 at 11:50 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started relatively strong, but has since turned lower, as traders weigh testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and a mixed bag of economic reports. Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee, the central banker opined that a December rate hike could come to fruition, should economic data support the cause. Looking ahead, New York Fed President William Dudley and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer will speak later today.

On the economic side, the U.S. trade deficit slimmed down by 15% in September, as a strong dollar weighed on exports; the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) services index increased by more than expected in October; and just two days ahead of the highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report, ADP said private-sector job growth slowed down last month.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) supplier Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA). The shares rocketed higher yesterday, on no apparent news, attracting a slew of short-term option bulls. It's more of the same today, with AMBA calls crossing at three times the average intraday pace, and more than twice the rate of puts. Weekly calls expiring at Friday's close are once again dominant, accounting for seven of the 10 most active options thus far.

One of the NYSE's top performers is semiconductor concern MaxLinear, Inc. (NYSE:MXL), which is up 21.3% at $15.93, and just off a five-year peak of $16.18. Shareholders and analysts are applauding last night's quarterly earnings showing, with no fewer than four brokerage firms hiking their price targets on MXL. Most ambitious was Roth Capital, which lifted its target to $21 from $17 -- in uncharted territory.

Among the leading losers on the Big Board is print-and-media issue Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD), which has plummeted 25.9% to $9.71, and earlier touched a record low of $9.50. The company last night reported earnings, and vowed to start shuttering plants and cutting jobs to reduce costs by $100 million.


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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.9 point, or 5.9%, at 15.39.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.19, with puts more than doubling calls. At last check, SPY was 0.4 point, or 0.2%, lower at $210.59.


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