Dow Jones Industrial Average Adds Triple Digits

Analysts Predict Record Highs for This Apple Supplier

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:07 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the morning climbing higher, notching triple-digit gains by midday. Traders are responding to a round of generally upbeat economic data, and financial stocks are in the lead after Friday's relatively hawkish Fed comments. Meanwhile, a strong dollar and concerns about higher output from the Middle East have oil prices slipping, with the October contract for crude last spotted down 1.7% at $46.85 per barrel.

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Midday Market Stats August 29

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday. Both puts and calls have changed hands at twice the expected intraday rate, with total options volume on pace to finish in the 97th percentile of its annual range. Most active by a healthy margin is the September 64.50 call, where it appears traders may be buying to open new bullish positions. HLF is up 2.8% at $62.21 today, on reaffirmed confidence from activist investor and long-time Herbalife shareholder Carl Icahn, who reportedly upped his stake by another 2.3 million shares.

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday is biotech concern Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO), last seen up 4.5% at $9.26. The company has begun a clinical study of its Zika vaccine in hard-hit Puerto Rico, and the shares have brought their year-to-date gains to nearly 38% after a bounce off support at their 160-day moving average last week.

INO Daily Chart August 29

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc (NASDAQ:KTOS) is one of the Nasdaq's worst performers for the day, meanwhile. A bearish brokerage note sent the stock spiraling 4.6% to $7.10, after weeks of the shares rocketing higher.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.6 point, or 4.7%, at 13.01.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.85, with puts nearly doubling calls. SPY was last spotted up 1 point, or 0.4%, at $218.23.

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