Data Drops Dow Jones Industrial Average; Nasdaq Eyes 7th Straight Weekly Win

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Aug 12, 2016 at 12:10 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is in the red at midday, as this morning's lackluster economic data -- including a disappointingly muted July retail sales report -- overshadows another round of well-received earnings from retailers. The weak data has tamed expectations for a Fed rate hike in December, sending financial stocks into the red. However, rising oil prices are helping to stem the bearish tide, gaining ground on a weaker dollar, as well as persistent hopes of production stabilization following Thursday's comments out of Saudi Arabia. Crude futures for September were last seen up 1.8% at $44.27 per barrel, on pace for a gain of more than 5% for the week. At last check, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) had erased its early losses, on pace for its seventh straight weekly win.

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Midday Market Stats August 12

Mining issue Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday. FCX puts are changing hands at roughly twice their average intraday rate -- more than doubling calls -- with over 20,000 contracts on the tape. Most active by a mile is the weekly 8/12 12-strike put, where traders are closing out their positions before the option's expiration at the close tonight. FCX was last spotted down 0.6% at $12.04, continuing a slump that began just after its late-July earnings report.

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday is fiber optics firm Acacia Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACIA), up 32.6% at $89.77 following a huge earnings beat and a round of bullish brokerage notes. The shares hit a new record high of $91.16 this morning, and have now added 190% since they began trading publicly in May.

ACIA Daily Chart August 12

Drugmaker Concordia International Corp (NASDAQ:CXRX) is one of the Nasdaq's worst performers for the day so far. The stock dropped 26.6% to $12.00 after the firm reported weak quarterly earnings, lowered its full-year guidance, suspended its dividend, and announced the departure of its CFO. The shares are now off 71% year-to-date, and hit a fresh two-year low of $11.85 this morning.

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.3 point, or 2.6%, at 11.38, set for its seventh straight weekly loss.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.48, with puts outnumbering calls yet again. SPY was last seen essentially flat, at $218.66.

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