Dow Jones Industrial Average Struggles; Dollar In Focus

The Technical Indicator to Watch for This Oil ETF

Jan 17, 2017 at 12:09 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is trading lower at midday, as political uncertainty weighs on stocks. Traders continue to gauge this morning's "Brexit" speech from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as recent remarks from President-elect Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration on Friday, with the U.S. dollar index flirting with six-week lows after Trump called the currency "too strong." In addition, blue-chip stock UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) has given up its post-earnings gains, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is leading a financial sector swoon. With the Dow now on pace to close lower for a third straight session, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are also sliding, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is eyeing its highest close since Jan. 3. 

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

Midday Market Stats Jan 17

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is retail stock Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), after the company's poor holiday sales numbers. While puts and calls were both trading at three times the intraday norm at last check, the January 81 call was the most popular overall at last check -- though it's not clear how traders are positioning themselves here. TIF is down 1.1% at $80.98, but is still up 42% since its June low of $56.99. 

Looking at the top gainers on the New York Stock Exchange, book retailer Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is rallying today, though it's not clear why. The stock was last seen 5.4% higher at $11.75. BKS shares have now added over 12% since their Jan. 9 low, but the 50-day moving average could thwart today's upward move. 

Daily Chart of BKS Jan 17

One of the biggest losers on the Nasdaq is semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), with the shares shedding 5.8% to trade at $9.97 after Citigroup set its price target at just $4. However, AMD has been lagging in recent sessions, paring some of its huge gains from 2016. More specifically, the stock has lost almost 20% since its nine-year high of $12.42 in December. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.7 point, or 6.2%, at 11.93. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.07, with put volume doubling call volume. The SPY was last seen 0.6 point, or 0.3%, lower at $226.43. 

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