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After five consecutive daily losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is attempting to bounce back today, and was last seen up 142 points at 16,207.57. Investors have one eye overseas, as President Barack Obama and European Union leaders outline sanctions against Russian officials in the wake of Crimea's vote to separate from Ukraine. In domestic news, industrial output rose more than expected last month, the Empire State manufacturing index pushed higher in March, and a reading of homebuilder confidence edged 1 point higher, remaining below the point of demarcation between positive and negative opinion.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands near 0.84. Roughly 3.22 million calls have changed hands so far today, versus 2.70 million puts.
- One name seeing notable options activity today is JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO), which is up 5.3% at $12.02 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that easily surpassed Wall Street's estimates. Earlier today, the stock tagged a new high of $13.14, its loftiest point since September 2011. Call players have responded enthusiastically, with nearly 85% of the name's total options volume crossing on the call side.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 2.65. Advancing stocks are currently outpacing declining issues by a margin of more than 2-to-1.
- Among the top performers on the Big Board today is Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ). The rental car concern will reportedly spin off its construction equipment rental unit for roughly $4.5 billion, according to the Financial Times. Confirmation of these plans could emerge as soon as this week. At last check, HTZ was up 5.4% at $27.37, but remains in negative territory on a year-to-date basis.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has pulled lower today as equities gain ground. At last check, the market's "fear gauge" was down 1.9 points, or 10.6%, at 15.93. On Friday, the VIX closed at its highest point since Feb. 5.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.56, with calls outpacing puts by a margin of close to 2-to-1. The ETN is 4.3% lower today at $45.35.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) 2 Minute.