Data, Japan Keep Dow Jones Industrial Average Flying High

What's the Best Way to Sell Premium?

Jan 29, 2016 at 12:10 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ​is maintaining its triple-digit lead at midday, thanks to a wide range of bullish developments. Traders continue to cheer the surprise rate cut out of Japan, and Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) earnings win is overshadowing a post-earnings slide from fellow Dow component Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Meanwhile, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) surged to its highest level in a year, dimming a lackluster estimate for fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). Yet, while the Dow and its index peers are set to end a second week higher, they're staring at monthly drops of more than 6%. 

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Among the stocks with unusual call activity is software giant MSFT, as traders bet on more upside following the firm's better-than-expected quarterly showing. Calls are trading at three times the average intraday rate, and data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) suggests one trader is rolling up weekly 1/29 52-strike calls to the February 54.50 call. The stock was 4.2% higher at $54.26, at last check. 

Business supplies specialist Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX) is near the top of the Big Board today, after the firm announced it'll be splitting into two companies and giving Carl Icahn three board seats. The stock was last seen 5.5% higher at $9.74, but the rally was cut short precisely at XRX's 30-day moving average, a trendline that rejected the stock's rebound attempt early in the month. 


One of the worst-performing stocks on the Nasdaq today is biotech Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). The shares are down 5.2% at $83, and just off an annual low of $82.55, after rival Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) scored a major regulatory win. In addition, GILD named a new CEO.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has lost 1.9 points, or 8.6%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.20, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY was last seen sporting a 2.2-point, or 1.2%, gain at 191.31, putting it above this crucial trendline

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