Dow Jones Industrial Average Looks to Break Weekly Losing Streak

Why Yahoo! Bulls Are Sweating; Plus, Tesla's Vote of Confidence

May 20, 2016 at 12:06 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has trekked higher throughout the morning, tracking global markets, as traders attempt to shake off rate-hike fears and slipping oil prices. June-dated crude oil is off 0.2% at $48.05 per barrel, as growing stockpiles overshadow supply outages abroad. Meanwhile, stocks are getting a lift on news that existing home sales for April rose more than expected, while March sales were revised slightly higher. If the DJIA can hold its triple-digit lead through the afternoon, the index should stave off a four-week losing streak. Likewise, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is outperforming its peers, on pace to avoid a fifth straight weekly loss.

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Midday Market Stats May 20

Dow component Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) is among the stocks with unusual options volume today. The stock is down 0.8% at $56.59 after a disappointing sales report from a sector peer, and NKE options traders appear to be eyeing further short-term losses. Puts are changing hands at four times their average intraday rate, and outnumbering calls more than 3-to-1. The most active option is NKE's weekly 5/27 55-strike put, where it looks like traders are buying to open new positions, targeting a slide below $55 by the close next Friday.

Among the top performers on the Big Board today is InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC), surging 36.5% to $43.21 -- just off a fresh year-to-date high of $43.33. The jump comes on news that Australian Oil Search Limited will buy the company in a deal valued at $2.2 billion, or approximately $40.25 per share.

Retailer Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) is among the worst performers on the Nasdaq at midday, giving up 3.4% at $53.61 after a disappointing turn in the earnings confessional and subsequent round of price-target cuts. However, the shares could find an ally in their 200-day moving average, which has supported ROST since November.

ROST Daily Chart May 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.8 point, or 5%, at 15.51.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.04, with puts and calls trading at a nearly equal pace. SPY was last seen up 1.5 points, or 0.7%, at $205.69.

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