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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) spent the first half of the session in the green, and at last check, was up 81.14 points, or 0.49%, at 16,529.88, following a pair of so-so economic reports. While the Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell more than expected in April, it managed to maintain a six-year-high level. Furthermore, despite U.S. single-family home prices seeing a slightly higher-than-expected increase in February, they were still well below their 2005 level, on a national basis. Heading into the second half of the session, all eyes are on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which begins its two-day policy-setting meeting today.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands at 0.85. Roughly 3.56 million calls, compared to about 3.05 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
- Among the names with call-heavy trading activity today is ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH). At last check, calls were changing hands at 12 times the average intraday rate, outnumbering puts by a nearly 91-to-1 margin; overall, 99.9% of the stock's options volume has crossed on the ask side. On the charts, meanwhile, ARMH may be seeing an end to its post-earnings decline. After falling 8.3% over the last four trading days, the stock is currently hovering right above its daily flat line, at $45.98.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is on track to extend its week-to-date decline, currently down 1.65% at 13.74.
- The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) has fallen 0.89% to $40.58. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.07, with put volume slightly outpacing call volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).