Climbing Crude Lifts Dow Jones Industrial Average Off Session Lows

The Crashing Retail Stock; Plus, Is Pandora Up for Sale?

May 17, 2016 at 12:15 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell into negative territory out of the gate, and was down as much as 100 points at its intraday low. Weighing on the Dow are heavy losses from retail stock Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) -- despite a strong turn in the earnings confessional -- and a big jump in April's consumer price index (CPI), which some are speculating strengthens the Fed's case for raising interest rates. Nevertheless, the Dow has moved off its session lows, in the wake of upbeat readings on housing starts and industrial production, as well as rising oil prices. In fact, after an early morning dip into the red, June-dated crude futures have jumped 1.1% to $48.26 per barrel -- tagging another year-to-date high along the way.

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

 Midday Market Stats May 17

Among the stocks with unusual option volume at midday is retailer American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), where options are changing hands at 14 times their usual intraday rate. Puts are outpacing calls nearly 10-to-1, with more than 11,000 puts on the tape so far. It looks like most of this action is happening at the stock's May 13 put -- the most active option today -- where it appears traders are purchasing new positions ahead of tomorrow night's earnings report. AEO is off 0.4% at $14.10 today, following a round of price-target cuts.

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq is drugmaker Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX), up 6.9% at $27.90. The company reported first-quarter earnings in line with estimates and reaffirmed its 2016 outlook, but today's rally is running into trouble at the shares' 200-day moving average.

AKRX Daily Chart
 

LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) is one of the worst performers on the Big Board, down 11.3% to $3.50 -- just off a new record low of $3.44. An internal investigation led to CEO Renaud Laplanche's departure last week, and yesterday, reports surfaced the company has been hit with a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice, which will launch its own investigation into the firm.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is unchanged, at 14.68.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.16, with more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen down 0.4 point, or 0.2%, at $206.40.

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