Dow Jones Industrial Average Down Triple Digits; Oil Tests $30

One Oil Company's Worst Year Ever

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Feb 2, 2016 at 12:13 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ​is getting pounded as crude prices -- just a day after snapping a four-session winning streak -- continue to tank. At last check, March-dated oil futures were down 3.9% at $30.40 per barrel, after earlier dipping below the round $30 level. Also helping usher the Dow to a triple-digit midday loss is Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), after the commodity company reported a huge drop in quarterly profits. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has fallen back into correction territory.

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Among the stocks with unusual put volume is gambling giant Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE:LVS), with the contracts crossing at quadruple the typical intraday rate. Leading the way is the now in-the-money February 43 put, which is seeing buy-to-open activity, according to Trade-Alert. This represents a break from the norm, as LVS option traders have been gravitating toward long calls over puts of late. On the charts, meanwhile, LVS has sunk 4.4% to trade at $42.65, after recently getting rejected by its 120-day moving average.

Microblogging issue Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is one of the worst performers on the Big Board today, down 6.7% at $16.71 -- and giving up all of yesterday's gains. Sparking the sharp sell-off is a bearish note from Stifel Nicolaus, which cited slowing growth and a "lack of product innovation" for its negative outlook.

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The leading advancer on the Nasdaq is catheter concern Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:HNSN), which has surged nearly 32% to $4.22. A nod from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is boosting the stock, and sending its options volume through the roof.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has jumped 1.4 points, or 6.9%, at 21.36.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.18, with puts outstripping calls. At last check, SPY has lost 2.5 points, or 1.3%, at $191.12.

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