Dow Jones Industrial Average Sinks as Saudi Oil Minister Speaks

The $16B Tech Deal in Jeopardy

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 23, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Feb 23, 2016 at 12:01 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is adding to its early losses, giving back more than 100 points, as Wall Street digests comments on crude production from Saudi Arabia's oil minister. Specifically, Ali Al-Naimi said today that Saudi Arabia has no plans to cut its crude output, throwing cold water on optimism sparked by last week's decision to freeze production. Crude oil futures have continued to slide in light of the speech, with the April-dated contract down 4.8% at $31.78 per barrel -- and stocks are following suit, with the Dow already erasing a hefty portion of Monday's big gain. 

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

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Among the stocks with unusual call volume is drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) -- but that's nothing new. VRX call options are trading at two times the average intraday pace, as the stock surges 8.1% to $81.10. Traders are responding to today's news that VRX will restate its earnings results from the previous two years. 

Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) is up 2.5% at $42.07, and leading the gainers on the New York Stock Exchange, following the retailer's earnings beat. Now recent option traders will be watching closely to see if the stock can close above its 100-day moving average for the first time since early August. 

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Several commodity stocks are near the bottom of the NYSE as copper prices follow oil lower, including Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). Shares of the mining stock have given back most of their gains from Monday's rally, last seen off 9.2% at $7.20, after Citigroup cut its rating to "sell." 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.2 points, or 6%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.24, with puts more than doubling calls. The SPY is down 2.1 points, or 1.1%, today at $192.67. 

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