Dow Jones Industrial Average Wobbles; Oil Prices Crash

The Drug Stock Doing Something Extremely Rare

Jun 14, 2017 at 11:55 AM
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U.S. stocks are struggling for upside today, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) managed another record high early on. Investors are taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of this afternoon's Fed decision and subsequent press conference from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, though most are expecting the central bank to raise interest rates. Also, a sharp drop in oil prices is putting pressure on energy stocks -- and thus the S&P 500 Index (SPX) -- after domestic crude inventories fell less than expected this past week, and after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned of an extended global glut. At last check, July-dated crude futures were down 3.4% at $44.89 per barrel. Meanwhile, gold prices are on the rise, with August-dated futures gaining 0.8% to trade at $1,279.10 per ounce, as traders monitor a shooting involving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise this morning. 
 
Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • The drug stock doing something extremely rare.  
  • How fidget spinners are sinking this retail stock. 
  • Plus, bearish options action on AT&T; H & R Block's big day; and Transocean shares get drilled. 

midday market stats june 14

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), with puts trading at two times the expected intraday pace. The vast majority of the action has taken place at the September 37 put, where more than 12,700 contracts have traded, most of which appear to have been bought to open. If this is the case, options traders are betting on AT&T stock falling below $37 by Sept. 15, when the contracts expire. T shares haven't traded below this level since mid-November. Of course, the company is still awaiting regulatory approval for its pending deal with Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX)

Looking at the top of the New York Stock Exchange, tax preparation specialist H & R Block Inc (NYSE:HRB) is having a big day thanks to the company's impressive earnings report. HRB shares were last seen up 9.8% at $29.65, earlier touching an annual high of $29.89. 

On the other end of the NYSE is Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), which is sinking amid the energy sector sell-off. In fact, RIG stock is the biggest SPX loser today, last seen down 6.3% at $8.58. This puts the shares within striking distance of last week's record low of $8.38, and brings their year-to-date decline to almost 42%. 

transocean stock

 

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