Dollar Surge Sinks Dow Jones Industrial Average

How Traders Are Playing GE's Adjusted Forecast

Oct 21, 2016 at 12:05 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped out of the gate, as the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) climbed to an eight-month high. Earnings remain in the spotlight, with several Dow components on the move following their quarterly reports. Specifically, upbeat results sent Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to a fresh record high, while McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is up 2.9% on earnings. But those gains haven't been enough to offset losses from 26 of the blue-chip index's 30 components -- and crude oil prices have been choppy so far today, on track for their first weekly loss in more than a month. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is outperforming its peers, and was last trading 0.2% higher. 

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

  • The $47 billion buyout buzz boosting Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI).
  • Chapter 11 chatter has one energy stock on track for its worst day ever.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and how options traders are playing GE after its forecast adjustment.

Midday Market Stats October 21

Dow component General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is among the stocks with unusual put volume at midday. GE is sliding 1.7% to $28.59 after lowering its full-year revenue forecast, and puts have taken an unusual lead in the equity's options pits. At last check, GE puts were trading at three times the expected intraday rate, with roughly 59,000 of these contracts crossing the tape. Some of the action appears to be the result of traders closing out positions at the October 29 put ahead of tonight's options expiration.

Biotech stock Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) is the among the top performers on the Nasdaq, thanks to positive results in a late-stage drug study, which prompted a round of bullish brokerage notes. The shares have added 31% to $57.01, paring their year-to-date loss to 28%. Most of that deficit was due to a massive bear gap back in January, triggered by a separate round of drug data.

ALKS  Daily Chart Oct 21

Among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange today is shoemaker Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX). Disappointing earnings and guidance, met with negative analyst attention, sent the stock to an annual low of $18.81 earlier in the session. SKX was last seen off 17.2% at $19.00.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.4 point, or 3.1%, at 13.33.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.52, with puts easily outpacing calls. SPY was last seen down 0.5 point, or 0.2%, at $213.37.

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