Dow Jones Industrial Average Up as Data, M&A Overshadow Oil Slump

2 Stocks Tanking Post-Earnings

Oct 31, 2016 at 12:09 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has seen choppy trading so far today, exploring a narrow range of just 62 points. Stocks are reacting to growing uncertainty ahead of next week's U.S. presidential election, in addition to a sharp drop in oil prices after major oil producers failed to agree to an output cut at a meeting over the weekend at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) headquarters. At last check, December-dated crude futures were off 2.6% at $47.42 per barrel. Nevertheless, an upbeat reading on consumer spending and a round of well-received M&A activity is helping to keep the Dow above water.

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

Midday Market Stats October 31

Among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday is chipmaker QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM). The stock is getting a boost from upbeat analyst attention -- up 1.3% to $69.30. And with 11,000 puts on the tape, volume is at at 1.4 times the typical intraday rate. Accounting for the bulk of the put action so far is the weekly 12/9 63-strike put, where it appears one trader may have sold to open the contracts, betting on the $63 level to serve as a floor for QCOM through the option's expiration, on Friday, Dec. 9 -- a time frame that includes this Wednesday evening's quarterly earnings report.

Telecom specialist Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT) is among the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange today, up 4.7% to $56.58 on news the company will be bought by Centurylink Inc (NYSE:CTL) in a $34 billion deal. Today's rally puts LVLT in positive year-to-date territory for the first time since July.

Among the worst performers on the Big Board, meanwhile, is Dow component Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE). The stock has shed 3.1% to $50.43 following a bearish brokerage note, widening it year-over-year losses to 23%, and tapping a new annual low of $50.15 earlier in the session.

NKE Daily Chart Oct 31

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.6 point, or 3.4%, at 16.74.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.04 with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen up 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $213.11.

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