Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases 100-Point Gain

A Bad Day for Bill Ackman and Oprah

Feb 26, 2016 at 12:19 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) jumped nearly 100 points at the open -- following its global counterparts into the green -- thanks to a big boost in oil prices and a promising update on fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). However, the Dow has turned lower  -- but is still on pace to notch a second straight weekly gain -- as April crude futures have pared their gains to 0.7% at $33.30 per barrel, and as stocks react to the latest inflation and sentiment data. Specifically, consumer spending increased a bigger-than-expected 0.5% in January, and the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index -- closely watched by the Fed -- posted its loftiest advance since October 2014. Meanwhile, the trade gap for goods widened the most since June, and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to a three-month low in February. 

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Among the stocks with unusual option volume is retailer J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), with overall volume running at five times the average intraday rate. The stock has jumped 11.8% to $9.35, following the firm's well-received earnings report. While longer-term traders are targeting the January 2017 10-strike put, shorter-term speculators are closing out of the winning trades they initiated yesterday.

For the second day in a row, alternative energy concern Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) is one of the biggest advancers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). While the stock is up 44.2% at $2.48 after clearing another M&A hurdle, it still remains 51% lower year-to-date.

Gold stock Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG) is one of the leading laggards on the NYSE. The stock is down 10% at $14.31 -- due to a dismal turn in the earnings confessional and subsequent round of bearish brokerage notes -- but is finding a foothold atop its 20-day moving average.


The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.6 point, or 2.9%, at 19.66.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.73, with puts easily outpacing calls. SPY is up 0.1% at $195.79.

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