Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls On Election Anxiety, Disappointing Data

Can These 2 Bank Stocks Buck Bearish November Seasonality?

Nov 1, 2016 at 12:10 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is trading lower at midday, having quickly given up its early gains. Traders are weighing mixed economic data, as monthly drops in construction spending and auto sales are offsetting enthusiasm over a rise in the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index. Meanwhile, traders are keeping a close eye on the U.S. presidential race, with Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump narrowing in some key polls amid the latest developments in the FBI's email inquiry. Today also marks the beginning of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, though no major policy changes are expected.

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

  • November has been a particularly cruel month for these 2 blue-chip bank stocks.
  • AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) has more than doubled this year, and the shares got a fresh boost earlier this morning.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

MMC 161101

Among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday is telecommunications stock Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT). The stock is trading 3% lower at $54.48, after some bearish brokerage attention. LVLT options are trading at eight times their typical intraday rate, with over 5,500 calls on the tape compared to 2,700 puts. Much of today's volume was related to a single spread strategy out in the June 2017 series, with matching blocks of 2,400 contracts apiece trading simultaneously at the 60- and 65-strike calls, as well as the 50-strike put. 

Biotech stock Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:OCLS) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq Composite today, currently trading up 22.5% at $4.90. After Monday's close, OCLS announced it would be selling its Latin American business to pharmaceutical conglomerate Invekra for $19.5 million, plus 3% of revenue on all sales outside of Mexico. Today's move finally catapulted the shares above their 160-day moving average, which has stopped several rally attempts since April.

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stock Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) is among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, currently trading 16.9% lower at $14.84. Traders are responding to a third-quarter earnings miss, with PBI falling short on both a top- and bottom-line basis in this morning's report. PBI shares have dropped over 28% in 2016, and earlier notched a three-year low of $14.69.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.5 points, or 8.6%, at $18.52.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.20, with puts more than doubling calls. SPY was last seen down 0.5 point, or 0.3%, at $212.01.

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