Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases Early Losses as Financial Stocks Gain

Tesla's "Disruptive Potential"

May 18, 2016 at 12:09 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) erased its early losses, with big gains from financial stocks JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) leading the way. Stocks appear to be shaking off rate-hike fears ahead of this afternoon's release of the minutes from the April Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. What's more, an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories is being overshadowed by a drop in gasoline and distillates, with June-date crude futures up 0.6% at $48.61 per barrel. Elsewhere, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has suspended trading on 199 ticker symbols due to a "critical" technical issue.

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 Midday Market Stats May 18

Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HTZ) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday, with calls changing hands at twice their average intraday pace. While HTZ is paring some of Tuesday's impressive gains -- down 2.8% at $8.43 -- options traders are betting on a bounce for the shares. The most active option is HTZ's weekly 7/1 9-strike call, where it appears traders are purchasing new positions.

Medical device maker Mazor Robotics Ltd - ADR (NASDAQ:MZOR) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq today, up 18% at $12.55, after the company announced a strategic agreement with Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT), with the latter also taking a 15% stake in the former.

Among the worst performers on the NYSE, meanwhile, is China-based retail stock Vipshop Holdings Ltd - ADR (NYSE:VIPS). The company reported dismal first-quarter sales and current-quarter guidance, prompting a round of negative analyst attention. As such, the shares are down 11.7% to $10.49 -- not far off a two-year low. The stock's declining 80-day moving average also resumed its role as resistance last week.

VIPS Daily Chart

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.3 point, or 2.1%, at 15.24.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.88, with puts nearly doubling calls for a second straight day. SPY was last seen up 0.4 point, or 0.2%, at $205.22.

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