Oil, China Weigh on Dow Jones Industrial Average

Bullish Signals from VIX? Plus, Gun Stocks Skyrocket

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jan 5, 2016 at 12:03 PM

After a rough start to 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is slipping again today, following China stocks and oil lower at midday. February crude oil futures continue their slide, last seen at $36.33 a barrel, as a strong dollar overshadows political tensions in the Middle East. Meanwhile, traders are digesting December auto sales, which are pointing to the best year on record for the industry.

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


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Among stocks with unusual option volume today is Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW), where puts are being traded at three times their typical intraday rate. Specifically, it looks like a potential roll-down or spread at the April 15 and 16 puts. This is rather a change of pace for the stock, which has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by an incredible 197 percentage points over the last three months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.51 shows that calls have been the option of choice over the last two weeks. WTW is down 1.8% at $21.32 today. 

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) is among the big winners on the Nasdaq, adding 8% to trade at $72.10 -- a new one-year high -- on a big nod from Goldman Sachs. The stock had a stellar 2015 and looks poised to continue its rally. Option traders are certainly hoping that to be the case -- at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the security boasts a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.85, higher than 82% of the past year's readings.

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Meanwhile, sector peer Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN) is one of the Nasdaq's big losers, last seen off 8.5% at $10.26. The stock got smacked with a downgrade from Goldman Sachs, sending the shares reeling, to the delight of short sellers. The equity's current short interest ratio accounts for nearly two full weeks of trading, at RUN's average daily volume. The stock is off to a bad start for 2016, dropping more than 12% so far in the New Year.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.3 points, or 1.3%, at 20.43.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.69, with puts outnumbering calls. SPY was last seen up 0.05 point, or 0.03%, at $201.07.


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