Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Losses as Crude Reverses Course

Is the Nasdaq Signaling a March Rally?

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM
Updated on Mar 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down nearly 100 points at its session low, but is paring its losses -- and briefly turned higher -- after oil prices reversed course. The weekly Energy Information Administration (EIA) crude inventories report showed stockpiles rose more than expected -- echoing data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) -- but U.S oil production slowed. April-dated crude oil was last seen up 0.7% at $34.63 a barrel.

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

  • Why the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) could be signaling a March rally.
  • The oil-and-gas company looking "to be the leaders in M&A."
  • 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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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is among stocks with unusual option volume at midday, with puts crossing the tape at five times their average intraday pace. The company, which has been exploring its options in recent months, announced the launch of Yahoo Esports. A preference for puts over calls is a change of pace for YHOO, and it looks like the majority of today's action transpired as a block of nearly 30,000 March 25 puts, which Trade-Alert suggests is part of a spread adjustment. YHOO was last seen 0.9% higher at $33.10.

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq is drugmaker PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT), last seen 13.7% higher at $6.31. The shares are bouncing back from an all-time low of $5.29, seen yesterday in the wake of an earnings miss. The security still has a huge amount of ground to make up if it hopes to reclaim its pre-FDA-induced bear gap level of $28.26.

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Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) is among the leading laggards on the Big Board, off 6.3% at $86.69, after the company lowered its 2016 full-year profit outlook. The stock is already 12% lower year-to-date, and could be headed for more trouble should option bulls abandon their positions.
 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.1 point, or 0.4%, at 17.77.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.66, with puts significantly outpacing calls. SPY was last seen up 0.1 point, or 0.1 %, at 198.32.

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