Dow Jones Industrial Average Swings Higher as Consumer Confidence Soars

The $2.7 Billion Deal Sinking This Energy Stock

by Josh Selway

Published on Sep 27, 2016 at 12:10 PM

After slipping into the red at the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has swung higher, as stocks react to last night's U.S. presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. Solid consumer sentiment data is also providing a lift, with the Conference Board's consumer confidence index hitting a pre-recession high in September -- though the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home-price index missed expectations.

Plus, stocks are seemingly snubbing a steep slide in oil prices -- which marks a complete turnaround from Monday's session. At last check, November-dated crude futures were down 3.3% at $44.42 per barrel, due to diminished hopes of an output freeze among top oil producers and a downbeat fourth-quarter oil-price outlook from Goldman Sachs.

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

Midday Market Stats September 27

Among the stocks with unusual call volume at midday is cancer specialist Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY), as the shares gain for the second straight day -- last seen 3.3% higher at $6.83, and fresh off a new annual high of $7.27 -- on the heels of a some bullish brokerage attention. At last check, call volume was running at 13 times the intraday norm, with calls outpacing puts 6-to-1. In the lead is the October 7 call, where it looks like new positions are being purchased as traders bet on ARRY to rally back above $7 by the close on Friday, Oct. 21, when the options expire. 

Looking past a number of biotechs enjoying big days, another Nasdaq outperformer is travel site Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE). The stock has added 3.4% at $112.73, after J.P. Morgan Securities raised its price target to $120 from $118 -- territory not seen since early January. In fact, the $120 level blocked EXPE's breakout attempt back in mid-July. 

Among the poorest performers on the New York Stock Exchange is oil-and-gas stock Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), following the resignation of two directors. The shares were last seen down 8.3% at $6.07, but appear to have found support at their rising 50-day moving average. 

Daily Chart of CHK September 27

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 1.1 points, or 7.6%, at 13.40. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.54, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY was last seen 0.8 point, or 0.4%, higher at $215.01. 

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