Tumbling Crude Keeps Dow Jones Industrial Average In Check

The Embattled Biotech at 'Significant' Risk

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 19, 2016 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is lower at midday, amid swooning oil prices and the latest inflation data. Crude dated for March has fallen 5.5% to hover just above $29 per barrel, with oversupply concerns drowning out hopes of a production freeze. Meanwhile, a jump in the core consumer price index (CPI) is bringing rate-hike talk back into the picture. Regardless, the Dow and its equity benchmarks remain comfortably on pace for their first weekly wins in February. 

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

  • The embattled biotech at "significant" risk
  • The surging gold stock that analysts can't stay away from. 
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.


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Among stocks with unusual option volume today is online auto directory TrueCar Inc (NASDAQ:TRUE). Put volume is at 28 times the intraday norm, while call volume is running at 26 times normal levels, following the company's disappointing quarterly results and forecasts. At last check, TRUE was down 16.6% at $4.81. 

Data storage concern NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) is sitting near the top of the Nasdaq, as the shares continue to rise despite the company's lackluster quarterly results and expected job cuts. The shares are up another 1.8% today at $24.35, but appear to be losing steam near their descending 50-day moving average. 

160219NTAP

Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN) is near the bottom of the Big Board today, as the energy stock continues to flounder amid sinking crude prices and negative analyst attention. The shares have dipped 7% today at $18.33, after Wolfe Research last night lowered its opinion to "peer perform," and Barclays this morning cuts its price target by $1 to $26. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.5 point, or 2.4%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.54, with puts outpacing calls. The SPY is off 0.7 point, or 0.4%, at $191.37. 

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