Dow Jones Industrial Average Higher, Despite Humdrum Housing Data

Bill Ackman's Controversial New Board Seat

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Mar 21, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Mar 21, 2016 at 12:03 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has spent time on both sides of breakeven on this Merger Monday, but was last seen en route to a seventh straight daily gain -- tying its longest winning streak since October. Ahead of expiration, April-dated crude futures were last seen 0.7% higher at $39.70 per barrel, with a modest rise in oil prices helping stocks look past ugly housing data. Specifically, existing home sales plunged 7.1% in February, to the lowest rate since November, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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Among today's stocks with unusual call volume is Dow component Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which is hosting its highly anticipated product reveal at 1 p.m. ET. AAPL calls are trading at 1.4 times the average intraday rate, and it looks like some short-term bulls may be buying to open the weekly 3/24 107-strike calls. By doing so, they expect AAPL to topple $107 by Thursday's close, when the options expire. AAPL was last seen 0.8% higher at $106.79.

KB Home (NYSE:KBH) is among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 1.5% at $13.52. Housing stocks are in the red after existing home sales fell sharply in February.

One of the best performers on the NYSE is Indian entertainment issue Eros International plc (NYSE:EROS), up 13.4% at $13.07, after the firm said it completed an internal review -- to the satisfaction of its audit committee. EROS is now trading in territory not charted since early November.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.1 point, or 0.9%, at 14.15.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.84, with puts handily outpacing calls. SPY is up 0.03%% at $204.46.

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