Dow Jones Industrial Average Struggles for Gains; All Eyes on Oil

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Feb 4, 2016 at 12:08 PM
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Continuing the trend of big intraday swings, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has explored a range of more than 200 points on both sides of breakeven. The index was last seen modestly higher, as traders keep an eye trained on oil prices. March-dated crude futures made a valiant effort to shrug off early losses, but were last seen 1.6% lower at $31.78 per barrel. In addition, Wall Street is weighing a round of discouraging economic data. Specifically, U.S. labor productivity suffered its biggest drop since early 2014, weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, and factory orders slid for the fourth month in five.

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Among the stocks with unusual call volume is medical device maker Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), as the contracts are crossing at 19 times the usual intraday clip. One of the most active strikes is the at-the-money May 17 call, which is seeing buy-to-open action. At last check, BSX is 4% lower at $17.02 after the company reported lackluster quarterly sales.

One of the top performers on the Nasdaq today is Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG), following an earnings beat and a raft of upbeat analyst attention. At last check, the solar stock is up 8.9% at $29.89.

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Among the leading losers on the Big Board is retailer Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS), down 15.9% at $43.01. Weighing on the shares is the company's cut to its 2015 profit forecast, due to weak holiday sales and "significantly" lower gross margins.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.5 point, or 2.2%, at 22.12.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.10, with puts narrowly outpacing calls. Currently, SPY is down 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $191.07.

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