Wage Growth Has Dow Jones Industrial Average Up; S&P Set to Snap Losing Streak

Weight Watchers Bets On Another Oprah Effect; Plus, The Soaring Car Stock

Nov 4, 2016 at 12:16 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is higher at midday, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are on track to break their eight-day losing streaks. Although today's nonfarm jobs report showed the U.S. added less jobs than expected last month, hourly pay increased and the unemployment rate fell to below 5%. Plus, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart called the report "solid," and noted in a prepared statement that he sees "a very gradually rising interest rate environment over the next two years." Nevertheless, stocks' upside is being contained by continued pre-election anxiety, as well as falling oil prices. At last check, December-dated crude futures were off 1.8% at $43.85 per barrel.

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

MMC 1104

Among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday is GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO). GPRO is currently down 3.7% at $11.50, after the wearable camera maker reported disappointing earnings. GPRO options are currently trading at six times their normal intraday clip, and options volume is on pace to touch an annual peak, with over 118,000 contracts traded. The weekly 11/4 series -- which expires at tonight's close -- accounts for eight of GPRO's 10 most active option. The weekly 11/4 12-strike put is leading the way, with nearly 11,400 contracts crossing the tape.

Biotech stock Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq today, currently trading up 16.6% at $4.92, after the company reported a slimmer-than-expected quarterly loss. This is a welcome change of pace for CERS, which is still down almost 22% so far in 2016, and notched an annual low of $4.22 just yesterday.

Aspen Aerogels Inc (NYSE:ASPN) is among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today -- currently trading 27% lower at $4.30 -- after the energy firm's wider-than-forecast loss was met with bearish notes, including downgrades to "neutral" at J.P. Morgan Securities and Seaport Global Securities. And while ASPN now sits nearly 30% lower year-to-date -- and has broken through previous support at the 160-day moving average and $4.60 region -- it is finding a foothold near $4.15, home to a 23.6% Fibonacci retracement of its February lows and October highs.

ASPN 1104

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.2 point, or 0.8%, at $21.91.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.87, with puts nearly doubling calls. At last check, SPY was up 0.3%, or 0.7 point, at $209.44.

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