Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Heads Higher as Investors Digest News on All Fronts

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. attracts call players after earnings, while Zimmer Holdings, Inc. spikes to a new high on M&A news

by 4/24/2014 11:57 AM
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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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