Dow Jones Industrial Average Battles Higher as Oil Prices Tank

2 Auto Stocks on the Move; Plus, the Netflix Trendline to Watch

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:02 PM

After starting the session trading cautiously lower, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has clawed its way into positive territory at midday -- even as oil prices continue to slide in the face of a stronger dollar. Specifically, May-dated crude futures are trading down 3.8% at $36.90 a barrel as the U.S. dollar edges higher against a basket of foreign rivals. Along with stocks, the greenback is catching a boost from this morning's nonfarm payrolls report, which showed the labor participation rate rising to a two-year peak of 63% -- leading to increased expectations for a possible Fed rate hike at the central bank's June meeting.

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

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American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) is among the stocks with unusual option volume at midday. The airline stock is seeing contracts cross at three times their typical intraday clip -- and calls are nearly tripling puts, with about 26,000 traded so far. The most active AAL option today is the soon-to-expire weekly 4/1 39-strike call, where more than 4,600 contracts have changed hands. The stock is down 3.4% at $39.63 after a bearish note from Deutsche Bank -- which also took a swing at a few of AAL's sector peers.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday, thanks to positive results in two Phase 3 trials of its experimental eczema drug. REGN is up 10.1% at $396.91, and mounting a serious challenge of resistance at its 40-day moving average -- a trendline the shares haven't surmounted on a closing basis since mid-December. 


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Among the worst performers on the Nasdaq, meanwhile, is BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). The phone maker is off 7.2% at $7.51 after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter revenue.

The 
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.1 point, or 0.6%, at 13.87.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.78, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY was last seen up 0.21 point, or 0.1%, at $205.77.

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