Dow Jones Industrial Average Maintains Lead on GDP, Earnings

Chipotle vs. Ackman; Plus, the Drug Distributor Getting Destroyed

Oct 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is maintaining its lead as traders parse the latest corporate earnings results, despite a slight dip earlier following the release of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which fell by more than expected to hit a two-year low in October. Stocks are still broadly getting a boost from this morning's strong third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading. And while crude oil prices are on pace for the largest weekly drop in six weeks -- the December contract was last seen 0.4% lower at $49.52 per barrel -- amid lingering doubts over a potential production-cut deal, two major oil stocks are moving in opposite directions following mixed earnings.

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Midday Market Stats October 28

Biotech issue Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday. Disappointing drug news overshadowed a strong earnings result to send the shares spiraling 10.6% to $143.58, but some speculators are betting on a rebound. AMGN calls are trading at 12 times the typical intraday rate, and total options volume is on pace for an annual high. Leading the day's action so far is the weekly 11/4 152.50-strike call, where buy-to-open action has been confirmed. Buyers of the call are looking for AMGN to rally back above the strike before next Friday's close, when the option expires. However, AMGN is among the historically worst-performing stocks in the November-April period.

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq today is Apple Inc. (NASDA:AAPL) supplier Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS). The stock has tacked on 11% to $57.50 after beating expectations for quarterly earnings and receiving a round of upbeat analyst attention. The shares have now added nearly 95% in 2016, and sit just a chip-shot from their September record high of $58.08.

Drug distributor McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) is among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange at midday, following a disappointing earnings result and lowered full-year guidance. The stock has plummeted 23.2% to $123.28, hitting a fresh three-year low of $114.53 earlier, and inspiring several brokerage firms to slash their outlooks.

MCK Daily Chart Oct 28

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.5 point, or 3%, at 14.90.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.71, with puts significantly outpacing calls. SPY was last seen up 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $213.79.

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