Fed Anxiety Keeps Pressure on Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Rare Bull Note Behind Valeant's Rally

Aug 17, 2016 at 12:05 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is moving lower for a second straight day, following the bearish lead of several of its overseas counterparts. Rate-hike worries continue to weigh on stocks ahead of this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) July meeting minutes and a speech from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Meanwhile, oil prices briefly erased their early losses after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the number of U.S. crude inventories declined for the first time in a month, but have since resumed their path lower. At last check, September-dated crude futures were down 0.8% at $46.19 per barrel. Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is on the rise again, trading above 13 for the first time since Aug. 3. 

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

Midday Market Stats August 17

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU). Call options are trading at 10 times the normal intraday amount, with traders targeting the 80 strike in the front-month August series -- which expires on Friday -- and the weekly 9/2 series. It looks like one trader may have initiated a long call calendar spread using these two options, betting on LULU to stay docked near the strike in the near term. Despite being down 1.8% today at $78.43, the shares have added 49.5% in 2016.  

Alternative energy stock Sky Solar Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:SKYS) is near the top of the Nasdaq today, exploding for a 53.4% gain to trade at $4.05.  The move comes after the company announced plans to sell some of its interests in a number of Japan-based projects. The stock is eyeing its highest close since early April. 

Daily Chart of SKYS since August 2015

One of the worst-performing stocks on the Nasdaq today is LED specialist Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE). The shares have fallen 14% to $23.62, following the company's disappointing quarterly results and a subsequent round of bearish analyst attention. The stock has now lost over 28% since its annual high of $32.92 back in March. 

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.1 point, or 8.3%, at 13.69. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.45, with puts outpacing calls. SPY was last seen 0.9 point, or 0.4%, lower at $217.09. 

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