Chevron Leads Dow Jones Industrial Average Higher

Who's Driving Up the Price of Put Options?

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 10, 2015 at 11:56 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has pared an early 155-point lead, but remains comfortably higher at midday despite ongoing weakness in oil prices. Specifically, crude futures for January delivery are hovering around $37 per barrel, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said daily output in November hit a three-year high. Nevertheless, recently beaten-down oil stocks are among the top advancers at midday, with a 2.7% gain for Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) leading the Dow higher.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

 

  • Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner investigates who's driving up the price of put options
  • As the shares slide, this key technical level could be First Solar, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:FSLR) saving grace. 
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.


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Among the stocks with notable call activity is Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Shares of the social media firm are 6.6% higher at $25.92, following news the company's ads will now target "logged out" users. Calls are trading at two times the normal pace, with buy-to-open activity detected at the weekly 12/11 26-strike call. These traders expect TWTR to topple $26 by tomorrow's close, when the contracts expire.  

Among the biggest gainers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX). The stock, which recently got a vote of confidence from David Einhorn, has picked up 8.7% to hit $7.50. However, CNX's dreadful long-term performance can't be ignored. Specifically, shares of the energy stock have dropped 79% in the past 12 months, with their overhead 40-day moving average thwarting recent breakout attempts.  

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One of the biggest losers on the NYSE is chemical specialist Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW), which has reversed course following Wednesday's M&A-induced surge. At last check, the stock had fallen 1.9% to $55.85, but remains almost 32% higher for the quarter. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 0.3 point, or 1.7% lower, but is still poised to close above its 20-day moving for the third straight day.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.57, with puts outpacing calls. The SPY was last seen 1.3 points, or 0.7%, higher at $206.67. 


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