Energy Implosion Drills Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Worst Way to Hedge Against a Market Drop

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 7, 2015 at 12:06 PM

A sharp sell-off in crude oil is weighing heavily on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which is down triple digits as energy giants Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) tank. Specifically, January-dated futures were last seen down 4.5% at $38.15 per barrel -- putting them on track for a year-to-date closing low -- while Brent crude hit a nearly seven-year low. Meanwhile, Wall Street is awaiting word from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, whose speech on U.S. economic and monetary policy is the last scheduled address by a central bank official prior to next week's key policy meeting.

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is firearm firm Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC), as the contracts are trading at 19 times the expected intraday rate. Currently, the stock is 7.3% higher at $20.37 -- and fresh off an eight-year high of $20.62 -- amid news that Americans are purchasing more guns in the wake of last week's San Bernardino shooting, and ahead of tomorrow night's earnings report. Among the most active is the December 20 call, where buy-to-open activity is detected.

Among the biggest losers on the Nasdaq is drugmaker bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), after lackluster trial data sparked a round of negative analyst attention. At last check, BLUE has shed 34.3% to trade at $54.98.


The biggest gainer on the Nasdaq is Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), up over 74% at $89.47. Sparking the bullish gap is news the coffee company is being taken private for nearly $14 billion.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.7 points, or 11.8%, at 16.55.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 0.84, with calls outstripping puts. At last check, SPY is off 0.9% at $207.71.

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