20K Proves Elusive as Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips

What This Rare Dow Signal Could Mean For 2017

Dec 28, 2016 at 11:53 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) continues to hit speed bumps on its quest for 20,000, last seen modestly lower after earlier coming within 20 points of the psychologically significant millennium level. Stocks are reacting to a surprise drop in pending home sales last month, due to rising mortgage costs in the wake of Donald Trump's shocking victory in the U.S. presidential election.

Wall Street is keeping an eye trained on oil, as well, ahead of 2017's planned output cut between members and non-members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). At last check, February-dated crude futures were 0.6% higher at $54.21 per barrel -- on track for a fourth straight daily win.

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

midday market stats dec 28

Among the stocks with unusual put volume at midday is Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), where the contracts are trading at 25 times their usual intraday pace. According to Trade-Alert, one speculator sold to open a block of 10,000 June 2.50 puts as a "vote of confidence." Right now, ZNGA is down 0.6% at $2.58.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) is the worst performer on the Nasdaq, down more than 65% at $0.70, and fresh off a record low of $0.67. The biotech stock is getting blasted after the firm's cystic fibrosis drug disappointed in a late-stage study.

anth daily dec 28

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) is among the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, tacking on 5.5% to trade at $9.31. After gapping higher at the open, though, the mining stock has been fluctuating between its 10- and 20-day moving averages.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.3 point, or 2.3%, at 12.27.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.62, with puts outpacing calls by a healthy margin. Right now, SPY is down 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $225.64.

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