Dow Jones Industrial Average Follows Apple Into the Red

Apple's New Low; Plus, the Latest Retail Casualty

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 12, 2016 at 11:53 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started higher out of the gate, but has since faded into the red -- led lower by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which just hit a new annual low. Stocks are also reacting to a dismal update on weekly jobless claims and a tough session for crude futures, with June-dated oil last seen 0.8% lower at $45.87 per barrel. Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the recent batch of inflation data is "encouraging," while also noting that economic uncertainty "shouldn't paralyze" the central bank. Elsewhere, biotech stocks are underperforming, dragging the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) sharply lower.

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

 midday market stats may 12

Among the stocks with unusual call volume today is GMO guru Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), with the contracts running at 14 times the usual intraday rate. According to Trade-Alert, one speculator sold to open a 10,000-contract block of October 85 puts to offset the cost of 10,000 October 105-130 long call spreads. At last check, MON is 9.1% higher at $98.56, amid renewed buyout rumors.

Among the leading laggards on the Nasdaq is China-based social platform YY Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:YY). The stock is down 3.6% at $45.30 on reports that a group of investors shelved a $2.5 billion buyout bid. As the chart below demonstrates, YY has fallen off a proverbial cliff in the past week.

yy daily chart may 12
 

Chain restaurant Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK) is one of the top performers on the Nasdaq, surging 14.6% to trade at $74.62. Boosting the stock is a better-than-forecast quarterly earnings report, as the company benefited from higher traffic at its Qdoba restaurants, as well as "healthy margins and cost controls."

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.3 point, or 2.3%, at 15.02.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.71, with puts outstripping calls. At last check, SPY has shed 0.7 point, or 0.3%, at $205.79.

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