Dow Jones Industrial Average Extends Lead Over 20K; U.S., Mexico Tensions Flare

3 Stocks at New Highs; Plus, Pre-Fed VIX Bets

Jan 26, 2017 at 12:09 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has hit another record high, as blue-chip earnings remain in focus. Traders also digesting a $30 billion buyout deal for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), although shares of the Dow stock were last seen trading lower. Meanwhile, a Twitter feud between U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is also grabbing headlines, with Nieto canceling next week's trip to Washington. While the Dow is extending its climb at midday, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are struggling for gains, after earlier hitting fresh all-time peaks. 

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

Midday Market Stats Jan 26

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Fisher-Price parent Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), following the company's disappointing earnings report. The stock was last see 15.5% lower at $26.68, and it looks like call traders are running for the hills. Specifically, call volume is trading at eight times the average intraday pace -- with 17,000 contracts on the tape -- and sell-to-close activity seems to be taking place at the February and April 30 strikes. 

One of the top gainers on the Big Board is Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL), thanks to the cruise operator's better-than-expected earnings report and strong outlook. The stock has added 7.8% to trade at $94.47, earlier hitting an annual high of $95.80, and is now up nearly 40% since its October low near $67.50. 

Daily chart of RCL Jan 26

One of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq is retailer Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), as the shares suffer heavy losses for a second straight day, continuing their long-term downtrend. Specifically, SHLD has lost 13.6% since Tuesday's close at $9.43 to trade at $8.15. While the stock got a jolt after the company sold its Craftsman tools brand earlier this month, it still has lost more than half its value in the past 12 months. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.1 point, or 0.7%, at 10.89. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.67, with puts outnumbering calls. The SPY was last seen 0.2 point, or 0.1% lower at $229.35, but notched a new record high of $229.71 earlier. 

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