Dow Jones Industrial Average Pushes Higher on Intel, UnitedHealth

How To Win the Options Game

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 20, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2016 at 12:04 PM

It's been a push-and-pull session for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), as stocks react to the latest batch of blue-chip earnings and wavering oil prices. However, with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) swinging to the upside, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) surging on its Obamacare announcement, and May-dated crude futures up 1.1% at $41.51 per barrel on a smaller-than-expected rise in domestic inventories, the Dow was last seen taking aim at a fresh multi-month high. Elsewhere, existing home sales rebounded last month, rising 5.1% to an annual rate of 5.33 million units.

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Midday Market Stats April 20 

Among the stocks with unusual put volume is Lexmark International Inc (NYSE:LXK), with the contracts crossing at 53 times the average intraday pace. Shares of the printing specialist have jumped 9.9% to $38.08 on news of a $3.6 billion buyout, but it looks as if options traders are purchasing new positions at LXK's May 36 put.

One of the biggest gainers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), with the shares up 12.6% at $57.94 -- and north of their 30-week moving average for the first time since last August. Helping boost the stock is the IT issue's solid quarterly revenue and share repurchase program, which was met with a round of applause from the brokerage bunch.

 VMW weekly chart April 20

Alere Inc (NYSE:ALR) is one of the biggest losers on the NYSE, down 14.1% at $42.50. It looks as if ALR is tumbling after Abbott Laboratories' (NYSE:ABT) CEO Miles White refused to comment on its $5.8 billion buyout of ALR, after the diagnostic firm delayed filing its annual report.

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.5 point, or 4.1%, at 12.70.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.73, with puts outpacing calls. SPY was last seen up 0.4 point, or 0.2.%, at $210.30. 

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