Oil Rally Lifts Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P, Nasdaq to Record Highs

Hedge Funds Wash Their Hands of These 2 Stocks

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

U.S. stocks continue to rise, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all hitting fresh record highs in early trading. Rising oil prices are boosting equities, with September-dated crude futures last seen 2.4% higher at $45.56 per barrel, thanks to reports Russia has been in talks with Saudi Arabia about stabilizing oil markets. Energy stocks are rallying as a result, as are homebuilders, after the NAHB housing market index came in higher than expected.

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

Midday Market Stats August 15

Wall Street newcomer Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday. Call volume is running at seven times what's expected for this point in the day, with the August 60 strike leading the way. Data suggests traders are buying to open positions, betting on the stock taking out the round-number level before the contracts expire this Friday. With today's 11.1% gain, TWLO has added almost 150% since opening for trade at $23.99 on June 23, last seen at a record high of $59.22. 

Looking at the top performers on the Nasdaq, action camera maker GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) is moving higher yet again. The stock has been climbing steadily since bottoming at $8.62 in May, adding 77% since to trade at a seven-month hifh of $15.26 -- including a 6.6% pop today. Meanwhile, GPRO options traders are likely rooting for additional gains, with the Omni 360-degree camera set to launch on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Daily Chart of GPRO Aug 15

Drugmaker Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) is one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq, losing over half its value to trade at $1.78. Even though the company's experimental lupus nephritis treatment met its main goals in a mid-stage trial, 13 patients died. The company claims the deaths were unrelated to the drug. 

The 
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.1 point, or 1%, at 11.66. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.40, with put volume outpacing call volume. The SPY was last seen 1 point, or 0.5%, higher at a record high of $219.46. 

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