Dow Jones Industrial Average Turns Higher Before Fed Decision

The Pharma Firm Making Valeant Look Like a 'Choirboy'

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 12:11 PM

After an initial drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is cautiously higher ahead of today's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy decision. All eyes are on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's 2:30 p.m. ET press conference, as traders hunt for clues on the timing of the next rate hike. Elsewhere, April-dated crude futures were last seen up 4.1% at $37.74 per barrel, thanks to hopes for a global output freeze and a smaller-than-expected rise in domestic oil inventories. A mixed bag of economic data also hit the Street, headlined by a strong uptick in housing starts. 

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Among today's stocks with unusual call volume today is software stock Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL). The contracts are crossing at 11 times the average intraday pace, following the company's impressive quarterly results and expanded stock buyback plan. Much of the action is attributable to spread activity in the weekly 4/22 series, as well as the April and May series. At last check, ORCL was 3.9% higher at $40.24.

One of the top performers on the Nasdaq is GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO), which has gained 5.8% to sit at $12.38. The shares are still down over 31% year-to-date, but today's gains are just what option bulls were looking for


On the other end of the COMP is TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ:TERP). Shares of the clean energy stock are 4.1% lower at $10.12, after the company -- along with Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) -- delayed reporting its annual results. However, the stock is still 1.3% higher on the month, even amid a messy M&A situation.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.8 point, or 4.8%. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.45, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY is up 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $202.30. 

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