Stocks quoted in this article:
After spending much of the morning treading water south of breakeven, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is now moderately higher at midday, up 19.8 points, or 0.1%, at 16,521.50. In addition to a number of high-profile earnings reports, investors are also weighing an upbeat durable-goods reading against anxiety over the escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine and a larger-than-forecast rise in weekly jobless claims.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands near 0.70. Roughly 4.55 million calls have changed hands so far today, versus 3.18 million puts.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) is seeing elevated option activity today, with volume running at more than four times the typical intraday pace. What's more, nearly 93% of the trades have been placed on the call side. TMO shares are down 3.2% today at $115.63 despite the company reporting first-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates and lifting its guidance for 2014.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 1.28. Advancing stocks are currently outpacing declining issues by a margin of more than 6-to-5.
- One of the top movers on the NYSE today is Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZMH). The medical-equipment concern is currently up 12.8% at $103.19, and earlier today pegged a new all-time high of $108.33. The company has announced plans to acquire orthopedic products company Biomet Inc. for roughly $13.4 billion in cash and stock.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has inched higher today as stocks fluctuate around the breakeven mark. At last check, the market's "fear gauge" was up 0.1 point, or 0.8%, at 13.36.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.32, with calls outpacing puts by a hefty margin. The ETN is up 0.3% today at 41.25.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).