Dow Jones Industrial Average Jumps; Microsoft Leads Tech Advance

Apple's $3B Pokemon Cash-In?

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:25 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) jumped out of the gate, touching a new record high and chasing its ninth straight gain, after a slew of better-than-expected earnings reports poured in. Post-earnings gains from tech stock Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are bolstering the Dow, and helping the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) outperform its peers. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) became the latest financial stock to impress with better-than-expected results, helping to usher the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to an all-time best. Elsewhere, oil prices have reversed course after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles last week. At last check, August-dated crude futures are up 0.4% at $44.84 per barrel, rebounding from a two-month low.

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

midday market chart 072016


Among the stocks with unusual option volume is financial stock Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE:SCHW), with options crossing at 12 times their usual intraday pace, with spread activity detected in the December and January 2017 series of options. The stock was last seen up 1% at $27.75, two days after delivering a promising earnings report and receiving several subsequent price-target adjustments.

Pharmaceutical stock Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGNX) is among the best performers on the Nasdaq today. The shares are up 28.5% at $6.35, on news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for its anti-constipation drug Relistor, which is commercially licensed to Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX)

Scientific consulting firm Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) is among the worst performers on the Nasdaq today, down 13.7% at $50.43, following a disappointing earnings report. EXPO just hit a record high on July 14, but this latest drop -- set to be the worst in eight years for the shares -- pushes the stock well under its 80-day moving average, which acted as support earlier this year.

EXPO 80 day moving avg 072016

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 3.1%, or  0.4 point, at 11.60. The VIX is on pace for its lowest close since July 2014.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.35, with puts leading calls. SPY is up 0.4%, or 0.9 point, at $217.15, and earlier notched an all-time best of $217.37.


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