Dow Jones Industrial Average Battles Back As Oil Surges

The Drugmaker That's Nearly Doubled; Plus, The Big Amazon Rumor

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 17, 2016 at 12:07 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has rallied off its morning lows to hit new year-to-date highs, on pace for a fifth straight win. Booming oil prices are giving energy stocks a boost, with April-dated crude futures up 3.4% at $39.78 per barrel, as major producers finally agreed to meet to discuss an output freeze next month. Largely better-than-expected economic data is also lifting sentiment, while the Fed's dovish outlook continues to work in stocks' favor. 

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

 

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Among today's stocks with unusual call volume today is Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ). The contracts are crossing at an accelerated clip, following news that activist investor Bill Ackman trimmed his stake in the food stock. MDLZ's March 41 call is the most active so far, though it appears most of these positions were actually sold to open shortly after the open, as a trader was hoping the $41 level would act as a short-term ceiling through tomorrow's close, when the contracts expire. However, MDLZ was last seen trading at $41.17, 1.3% lower on the day. 

FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is one of the top performers on the Big Board today, following the company's blowout quarterly results and subsequent round of bullish analyst attention. Shares of the delivery stock were last seen 10.6% higher at $159.50, blowing past their 100-day moving average which had been applying pressure in recent weeks. 

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One of the worst performers on the NYSE is Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), which has lost another 3.2% to sit at $484.39, as analysts continue to lower their expectations. Specifically, Jefferies slashed its outlook to "underperform" from "hold," and lowered its price target to $350 from $390. CMG has lost 7.7% since another negative health-related report hit the Street last week. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.9 point, or 6.1%, hitting its lowest levels of the year. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.00, as puts and calls run neck and neck. In fact, SPY call volume is running at 1.3 times the average intraday pace. The SPY was last seen 0.5 point, or 0.2%, higher at $203.79, 

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