Dow Jones Industrial Average Adds 200 on Oil; S&P Hurdles 2K

2 Red-Hot Oil Stocks; Plus, S&P Eyes New Milestone

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 11, 2016 at 11:55 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has shot to a triple-digit lead at midday -- putting it safely on track for a fourth straight weekly win -- boosted by higher oil prices. At last check, April-dated crude futures have advanced 0.9% to trade at $38.18, following encouraging remarks from the International Energy Agency (IEA), as well as Goldman Sachs. It also looks like stocks are rethinking yesterday's European Central Bank (ECB) stimulus decision, adding more fuel to the fire. As such, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is on the verge of its first weekly close above 2,000 this year.

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

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Among today's stocks with unusual call volume is payments expert VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY), with the contracts crossing at nine times the expected intraday levels. Thanks to upbeat earnings and a pair of price-target hikes, the shares are currently 5.6% higher at $28.04, which should come as good news for a recent crop of option bulls. PAY's most active strike today is the March 28 call, and it appears positions are being bought to close, based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE).

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq is Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN), with the solar stock down 13.4% at $6.19. Sparking the sell-off was last night's downbeat growth forecast, which was followed by some bearish analyst attention.

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One of the top stocks on the Big Board is Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL), thanks to a big bounce in crude prices and a bullish brokerage note. At last check, the commodity concern has tacked on 12.4% at $4.00.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 1.3 points, or 7.4%, at 16.71.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.08, with puts edging out calls. SPY was last seen 1.3% higher at $202.21.

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