Stocks quoted in this article:
After moving higher out of the gate to set a new intraday record, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) backpedaled below breakeven, then sprung back into positive territory to tag its highest-ever reading of 16,746.81 less than an hour ago. At last check, the blue-chip barometer was up 18 points, or 0.1%, at 16,735.19. Meanwhile, investors are digesting a number of domestic economic reports; construction spending increased less than expected in April, while manufacturing growth slowed last month, per the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), surprising economists. (However, some economists are questioning the ISM's math.)
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq Exchange stands at 0.62. Declining stocks are currently outpacing advancing names by a margin of roughly 5-to-3.
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges currently checks in near 0.91, with call volume narrowly surpassing put volume. So far today, 2.66 million calls have changed hands, compared to 2.44 million puts.
- One equity seeing unusual option volume today is natural gas name Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:LNG). The company tagged a new all-time high of $68.80 amid a price-target hike at Credit Suisse and a new sales and purchase agreement with Gas Natural Fenosa. However, the shares are now 1.1% lower at $67.36, after the company said it would delay its annual meeting by three months, as it faces a lawsuit related to employee compensation. In the options pits, volume is running at 2.5 times the average pace, with more than 71% of the day's trades transpiring on the call side.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has moved higher today and is approaching the heavily watched 12 level. The market's "fear gauge" hasn't closed north of this mark since May 22. At last check, the VIX was up 0.4 point, or 3.3%, at 11.77.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 2.43, with put volume easily trumping call volume. The ETN is currently up 0.5% at $33.69.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).