Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Triple-Digit Lead

Why Oil's Decline May Not Matter

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 9, 2015 at 12:11 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) recovered from an early rut to flirt with triple-digit gains, but has pared its lead at midday. Boosting the big-cap index was major M&A buzz, which has blue chip DuPont (NYSE:DD) booming. Adding to the risk-on attitude was a short-lived rebound in oil prices, after the government reported the first decline in domestic supplies in 11 weeks. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has backpedaled into the red, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is lagging behind. 

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Among the stocks with notable call activity is mining stock Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), with the stock 8.9% higher to $7.34, following news the company is suspending its dividend and cutting its oil-and-gas capital expenditures. Calls are trading at twice the expected midday pace, with buy-to-open activity likely at the weekly 12/11 7.50-strike call. In short, speculators are betting on FCX to muscle north of $7.50 by Friday's close. 

Among the biggest gainers on the Big Board is Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI), despite a round of negative analyst notes. Shares of the energy infrastructure stock have shot 9.4% higher to $17.19, after slashing its dividend. 

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Over on the Nasdaq, one of the biggest decliners is retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), following the firm's disappointing quarterly results. The stock has given back 3.9% to $162.28, swinging slightly more than the options market was expecting. Regardless, COST still maintains a 18.2% lead in 2015. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.6 point, or 3.6%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.65, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY was last seen 0.7 point, or 0.3%, lower at $206.29. 


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