Data Boosts Dow Jones Industrial Average; OPEC Weighs on Oil

Bearish Betting Builds On Oil Ahead of OPEC

Nov 29, 2016 at 12:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is trading higher, as stocks recover from earlier losses -- and financial shares get a lift from upbeat analyst attention. Traders are digesting a round of well-received economic data, which includes a solid reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), a new peak in U.S. home prices, and consumer confidence levels that rocketed to a nine-year high of 107.1 this month. Plus, a rally in "FANG" and healthcare stocks has helped propel the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) to a fresh record high. Nevertheless, energy shares are suffering, as anxiety grows ahead of tomorrow's Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting. At last check, January-dated crude futures were down 3.8% at $45.30 per barrel. 

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Among the stocks with unusual volume at midday is luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), after the company posted its first sales increase in eight quarters -- and the shares notched an annual high earlier this morning. TIF is currently up 4.2% at $81.48, with options crossing at nine times their average intraday rate, and calls outpacing puts 16,000 to 11,000.

Vascular Biogenics Ltd (NASDAQ:VBLT) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq today -- currently trading 21% higher at $6.05 -- after the biotech released positive results for its mid-stage thyroid cancer drug study. VBLT is up more than 119% since its February lows, enjoying the support of its 80-day moving average since May.

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Retailer Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCVL) is among the bottom performers on the Nasdaq today, currently trading 10.9% lower at $26.97. The company delivered a disappointing earnings report last night, prompting Jefferies to cut its price target on the stock to $28 from $29. SCVL is on the short-sale restricted list, though the shares are still up over 16% so far this year.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 2.9%, or 0.4 point, at $12.77.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.78, with puts leading calls. At last check, SPY was up 0.3%, or 0.7 point, at $221.22.

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