Dow Jones Industrial Average Tops 17K on Jobs, Oil; S&P Eyes 2K

3 Gold ETFs Drawing a Crowd; Plus, the Oil Stock On Fire

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 4, 2016 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is higher at midday, and on track for another healthy weekly win, as stocks react to this morning's strong jobs data. Oil prices are also continuing their journey north, with April futures last seen 1.6% higher at $35.12 per barrel. Against this backdrop, the Dow is pushing its way atop 17,000, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is eyeing its first close north of 2,000 since Jan. 5.

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

  • As gold hits new highs, traders are betting on big moves for these 3 ETFs.
  • The Brazil-based oil stock on pace for a monster weekly gain.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

160304MMC

Among stocks with unusual option volume at midday is Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), where calls are changing hands at 11 times their typical intraday rate. This appetite for calls has been picking up lately on the stock, which is up 14.1% at $12.36. But today's preference for calls represents a near extreme, with the resulting put/call ratio of 0.57 lower than 97% of the past year's readings. While the most active option so far today is the May 12 call, some possible buy-to-open activity has been spotted at the now in-the-money weekly 3/4 11.50-strike call.

Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) is among the top performing stocks on the New York Stock exchange today, adding 18.1% to trade at $1.80 after reaching a settlement agreement regarding the terminated buyout plans for Latin American Power Holding. After a rocky start to the week, though, SUNE is still on pace for a weekly drop of more than 20%.

Nimble Storage Inc (NYSE:NMBL), meanwhile, is one of the worst performers on the Big Board, off 16.9% at $6.86. The stock got hit with a round of bearish brokerage notes on the heels of a disappointing current-quarter forecast. NMBL has shed about one-fourth of its value so far this year, hitting a record low of $5.65 last month.

160304_nmbl

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.4 point, or 2.5%, at 16.29.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.08, with puts outnumbering calls more than 2-to-1. SPY was last seen up 0.6 point, or 0.3 %, at 200.35.

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