Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Pointed Higher, Fed in the Spotlight

Carnival Corporation shares are higher, attracting call players

by 5/21/2014 11:59 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is standing 118.22 points, or 0.72%, higher at 16,492.53, with investors digesting Fed Chief Janet Yellen's New York University commencement address, which started at 11:30 a.m. ET. Looking ahead into the second half of the session, the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting (slated for release at 2 p.m. ET) will be in top focus.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq stands at 0.88, with the number of declining stocks outstripping the advancers.

  2. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges comes in at 0.95. Roughly 2.80 million calls, compared to about 2.68 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.

  3. Among the names with call-heavy trading activity today is Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL). Overall options volume is trading at about six times the intraday average, and nearly all of these contracts have changed hands on the call side. Meanwhile, on the charts, CCL is enjoying its third day of gains, after announcing Monday evening its plans to expand its market leadership in Australia, and at last check, was up 1.1% to trade at $39.35.

  4. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 4.8% this afternoon at 12.35, after earlier dropping to an intraday low of 11.80. This is only the second time the "fear gauge" has fallen below the 12 level on an intraday basis since mid-January.

  5. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) hit a fresh record low of $35.28 earlier today, and is currently positioned 0.87% below breakeven at $35.48. As such, the ETN is on track to finish the session below the $36 mark for the second consecutive session. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.27, with put volume easily outpacing call volume.

View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).

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