Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 52.2 points, or 0.3%, at 16,308.31, after former Dow component Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) unofficially kicked off quarterly earnings season on a high note. On the economic front, U.S. wholesale inventories rose at a slower pace in February, compared to the month prior, but the 0.5% increase was in line with economists' estimates. Meanwhile, the central bank will take center stage at 2 p.m. ET, with the release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest meeting minutes.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is currently perched at 0.72, with calls outpacing puts. So far today, 3.48 million calls have changed hands, compared to 2.52 million puts.
- One name seeing heavy call trading today is alcohol supplier Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), which is down 2.7% at $79.32, despite reporting stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings this morning. So far, nearly three-quarters of today's option volume has traded on the call side.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 1.41, with advancing stocks outnumbering declining issues.
- One of the biggest upward movers on the Big Board today is Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE:GTN), which has added 14.1% to trade at $11.32, thanks to an upgrade to "outperform" from "market perform" at Wells Fargo Securities.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 2.4% lower at 14.54. However, the "fear barometer" is still on pace for a weekly gain of 4.2%.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 1.19, with put volume slightly outpacing call volume so far. The ETN has given up 0.8% at midday to $41.67.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).