Dow Jones Industrial Average Edges Higher; All Eyes on Yellen

Buy Calls On This Sizzling Tech Stock

Dec 19, 2016 at 11:45 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is starting the week on solid footing, as the blue-chip index continues its quest for the 20,000 millennium level. With Dow stocks higher at midday, investors are turning their attention to an upcoming speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, due at 1:30 p.m. ET. Earlier, though, Markit's flash services purchasing managers index (PMI) showed a surprise slowdown in December, while trading was temporarily halted on NYSE Arca due to a technical glitch.

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midday market stats dec 19

Among the stocks with unusual put volume at midday is art dealer Sothebys (NYSE:BID), with the contracts running at 27 times the usual intrday clip. In the lead by a mile is the January 2017 38-strike put, where buy-to-open activity is detected. BID stock is 0.1% lower today at $40.95, following Friday's annual peak.

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq is toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAKK), down more than 30% at $4.93, fresh off a three-year low of $4.75, and on the short-sale restricted list. Hurting the stock is a disappointing full-year forecast, coupled with negative analyst attention.  

jakk daily dec 19

One of the stronger stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is homebuilder Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), up 3.2% at $44.79. The stock is getting a lift from a solid earnings report, but has yet to conquer resistance at a pair of long-term trendlines.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.2 point, or 1.3%, at 12.04.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.57, with puts outpacing calls. SPY is currently up 0.4 point, or 0.2%, at $225.39.

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