Dow Jones Industrial Average Edges Lower; Stockpile Build Sinks Crude

2 Tech Stocks Breaking Out Big

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 2, 2015 at 11:52 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has taken a step back at midday, as traders play wait-and-see ahead of the first of two speeches this week from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, as well as the afternoon release of the Beige Book. Wall Street is also digesting comments from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who said this month's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting could be "historic," due to the potential for the central bank's first rate hike in a decade.

Meanwhile, traders are eyeing a bigger-than-expected rise in private payrolls, per ADP's employment report, and upwardly revised productivity numbers from the Labor Department. Lastly, December-dated crude has plunged 2.3% to $40.88 per barrel, following a 10th consecutive weekly build in stockpiles.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), with contracts trading at 1.5 times the expected intraday rate. At last check, the shares are off 0.6% at $132.47, pressured by a negative note from Goldman Sachs. NKE's most active option is the weekly 12/31 132-strike call, which traders appear to be buying to open in the hopes of an end-of-year bounce.

One of the notable movers on the Big Board is Guidewire Software Inc (NYSE:GWRE), down 1.4% at $59.71. The pullback represents a reversal from earlier in the session, when the software stock touched a record high of $64.78 after an earnings-induced round of bullish brokerage attention.

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The worst-performing stock on the Nasdaq is biotech Zafgen Inc (NASDAQ:ZFGN), down 57% at $6.83 -- and fresh off an all-time low of $5.93. The equity is getting rocked on news of a second death in a drug trial meant to treat patients with Prader Willi syndrome.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.7 point, or 4.7%, at 15.36.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.42, with puts comfortably outpacing doubling calls. At last check, SPY is 0.3% lower at $210.03.


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