Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has climbed out of the red, and was last seen 21.6 points, or 0.1%, higher at 16,554.68. Stocks got off to a rough start on news that weekly jobless claims rose by more than expected last week, bouncing back from a seven-year low. However, a rebound in existing home sales in April, a relatively in-line rise in the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators, and an encouraging flash purchasing managers index (PMI) for May have helped rejuvenate modest buying power.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange stands at 2.84, with advancing stocks nearly tripling the declining issues.
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is currently perched at 0.81, with calls outpacing puts. So far today, 3.3 million calls have changed hands, compared to 2.7 million puts.
- One name seeing heavy call trading today is tobacco concern Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), which is down 4.5% at $59.82. The stock yesterday rallied to a record high of $63.56, amid reports that Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI) is in talks to buy the firm. So far, about three-quarters of today's option volume has traded on the call side.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.1 point, or 0.8%, at 11.82, after earlier touching a new annual low of 11.68. The market's "fear gauge" is on pace to end the week beneath the 12 level for the first time since March 2013.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 3.33, with put volume handily exceeding call volume so far. The ETN has surrendered 0.6% to $35.01, and touched another record low of $34.91 earlier today.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).