Chevron Leads Dow Jones Industrial Average Lower as Crude Futures Fall

The Apple News Sending Fitbit Higher

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:16 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is sharply lower at midday, as oil reverses last week's rally. February crude futures are off more than 3% at $36.93 per barrel, sending energy stocks -- including Dow component Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) -- significantly lower. Unfortunately, with news flow and volume both light during this final week of 2015, there's not much to distract traders from today's oil-inspired slump.

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Among the stocks with elevated call volume today is Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE). Calls are crossing the tape at nearly twice their typical intraday rate, while total intraday options volume of 17,335 contracts arrives in the 95th annual percentile. More than 1,700 contracts have been traded at the weekly 12/31 64-strike call. NKE is trading 0.3% higher at $63.39 today, thanks to a positive analyst note.

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) is the top-performing blue chip at midday, with the shares up 0.9% at $106.83 on the news that its new "Star Wars" film has become the fastest ever to gross $1 billion at the box office. DIS has been choppy on the charts since tagging a record high of $122.08 in August, but has turned higher after recently meeting up with its supportive 320-day moving average.

151228 dis

Among the biggest losers on the New York Stock Exchange today is drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), which is trading 9.6% lower at $103.12. The latest blow for this much troubled company came this morning with a report that CEO J. Michael Pearson has taken medical leave due to severe pneumonia. The shares have been fighting to make back some of their losses over the past month, outperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by an impressive 33 percentage points over this time frame -- and options traders have turned bullish as a result.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 2.14 points, or 13.6%, at 17.88.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.64, with puts outnumbering calls. SPY was last seen down 1.4 points, or 0.7%, at $204.28.

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