Slumping Crude Oil, Caterpillar Weigh on Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Big Alzheimer's Breakthrough; Plus, A Key Apple Level

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Apr 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM
Updated on Apr 25, 2016 at 12:17 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is off triple digits at midday, falling in step with oil prices. Specifically, June-dated crude futures last seen down 1.4% at $43.14 per barrel, amid what some are speculating is a round of profit-taking following last week's lofty gains. Meanwhile, the Dow has surrendered its short-term foothold atop 18,000 -- led lower by a sharp drop for Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). Traders are also digesting a third straight monthly decline in new homes sales for March, and looking ahead to this week's big central bank meetings.

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

Midday Market Stats April 25

FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday. Contracts are crossing at 1.7 times the typical intraday pace so far, with calls outpacing puts by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio. The most active option is FEYE's weekly 4/29 19-stike call, where it looks as if some buy-to-open action is occurring. This heavy appetite for calls is just more of the same for FEYE, which is due to report earnings next week. At last check, the stock was up 1.4% at $18.20.

Among the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq today is biotech stock Macrocure Ltd (NASDAQ:MCUR), which is up 73.4% at $1.88. While there is no apparent news boosting the stock, the day's upside could be driven by short sellers, considering the stock's short-interest-to-float ratio is docked at a significant 6.4.

Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX) is among the biggest laggards on the Big Board, after first-quarter earnings fell shy of analysts' expectations, with low printer sales and a strong dollar weighing on the company's results. XRX was last seen down 12.4% at $9.73, and dropping below a key trendline for the first time since early March.

XRX Daily Chart

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.4 points, or 10.7%, at 14.63.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.85, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY was last seen down 1.1 points, or 0.5%, at $207.88.

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