Dow Jones Industrial Average Battles Back

A Biotech Bidding War? Plus, 3 Gold Stocks Racing Higher

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 6, 2016 at 12:15 PM
Updated on Jul 6, 2016 at 12:19 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has erased a triple-digit deficit, as stocks try to shake off renewed concerns about the recent "Brexit" vote. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) have also battled their way into the black, helped by a biotech rally and a bigger-than-expected surge in service-sector growth in June, per the latest data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Still, traders are flocking to safe-haven assets. In fact, gold prices are lingering near levels not seen in two years -- with August-dated gold futures last seen up 0.8% at $1,369.70 per ounce -- while the 10-year Treasury yield notched a new record low earlier, echoing the action seen overseas. Meanwhile, ahead of this afternoon's release of the minutes from the pre-"Brexit" June Fed meeting, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo said this "is not an economy that's running hot," and he will not support another interest rate hike until the inflation rate is closer to the target of 2%. 

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

Midday Market Stats for July 6

Among the stocks with unusual put volume is asset management concern Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM), with contracts crossing at more than 1,200 times the norm. At last check, the stock was down 0.7% at $28.15, but options traders seem to think the shares will find a short-term floor, with sell-to-open activity dominating LM's August 26 put.

Among the best performers on the Nasdaq is ventilation specialist Nortek Inc (NASDAQ:NTK), which is taking off on news of a $2.6 billion merger with Melrose Industries. NTK blasted past its 320-day moving average for the first time since September, with the tech stock last seen up 39.9% at $87.41 -- north of Melrose's per-share offer of $86.


NTK 320 day graph 0706

Novadaq Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:NVDQ) is among the worst performers on the Nasdaq, down 13% at $8.40 -- a three-year low -- after the medical device maker announced Rick Mangat as its new President and CEO. 
      
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is fractionally higher at 15.59.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.44, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY is at breakeven at $208.41.

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