Dow Jones Industrial Average Starts December On Strong Footing

'Bah Humbug' to These Volatility ETFs?

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 1, 2015 at 12:05 PM
Updated on Dec 1, 2015 at 12:18 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) popped out of the gate, and is set to start December with a comfortable lead. Traders are digesting a mixed round of economic data, including a sharper-than-forecast rise in construction spending, and a surprise drop (as well as a six-year low) in the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index, which now sits in contraction territory. Also, Black Friday specials helped automakers sell more cars year-over-year -- putting them on pace for their best November since 2001.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is semiconductor specialist Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO), as total intraday volume is running at 1.8 times the usual rate. The stock was last seen 1.5% higher at $132.40, ahead of tomorrow night's earnings report. Short-term traders are betting on post-event downside, buying to open the weekly 12/4 133-strike put.

Among the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq is bed seller Mattress Firm Holding Corp (NASDAQ:MFRM), up 9.9% at $54.26. Boosting the stock is the company's $780 million acquisition of HMK Mattress, owner of Sleepy's.

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One of the notable decliners on the Big Board is mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc. (NYSE:JOY), down 13.2% at $13.31 -- and fresh off an 11-year low of $13.07. BofA-Merrill Lynch is responsible for the steep loss, after cutting its rating to "underperform" and its price target to $10.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.5 point, or 3%, at 15.65.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 0.98, with puts and calls trading near parity. At last check, SPY was up 0.5% at $209.71.


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