Dow Jones Industrial Average Heads South; Retail, Energy in Focus

Holiday Sales and the Weather Blame Game

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 11, 2015 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ​has given up early gains, with retail names Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) pacing the decline following grim guidance from Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) -- which paints a dim picture for Friday's monthly retail sales report. Overall, trading remains light due to Veterans Day, with no notable economic data set for release until tomorrow's report on jobless claims. Elsewhere, oil has given back 2.5% on an increase in domestic supplies, pressuring heavyweights Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) lower. 

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Among the stocks with notable options activity is department store chain Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), as it prepares to report earnings tomorrow. Ahead of the event, options are crossing at 10 times the average midday pace, with the November 57.50 put seeing potential buy-to-open activity. In other words, it looks like traders are betting on a post-earnings slide from JWN, which was last seen 5.4% lower at $61.21, and just off an annual low of $61.06. 

One of today's big winners on the Nasdaq is surveillance firm Digital Ally, Inc. (NASDAQ:DGLY). The shares are 13.7% higher at $6.70, as traders prepare for the firm's post-close earnings report. Shareholders are hoping an earnings win can help turn around DGLY's dreadful technical performance


Among the leading losers on the Nasdaq is MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD), as the biotech continues to spiral in the fourth quarter. At last check, the equity was off 15.4% at $1.95, and earlier hit a three-year low of $1.76. So far in November, MNKD has dropped roughly 43%, triggered by an earnings miss.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.2 point, or 1.1%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.75, as puts outnumber calls. At last check, the SPY was down 0.5 point, or 0.2%, at $208.06. 




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