Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is down 73 points, or 0.4%, to 16,457.54 at last check, hurt by a slightly wider-than-expected trade deficit. However, the trade gap still fell on an absolute basis from February to March, as exports and imports both gained ground. Traders are also taking their cues from corporate earnings reports from the likes of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) and Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), which are both in the red following their respective results. Meanwhile, the tech sector is being pressured lower by microblogging site Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which is off 11.9% at last check following the expiration of the company's lock-up period.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq Exchange stands at 0.51. Declining stocks are currently outpacing advancing ones by a margin of about 2-1.
The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands at 0.75. Roughly 3.39 million calls, compared to about 2.57 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
Among the names seeing heavy call trading today is oil-and-gas giant BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP). Earlier today, the stock rallied to a four-year peak of $51.15, after Morgan Stanley raised its price target for BP to 530P from 525P. More recently, the equity was seen trading at $51.06. At midday, BP has seen its overall options volume swell to more than 10 times the intraday average, and nearly 99% of this activity has occurred on the call side.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is hovering above breakeven, up 0.0.5 point, or 0.3%, at 13.34.
- The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) has is down 0.3% at $39.44, after earlier falling to a new record low of $39.38. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.17, with puts having the slight edge over calls.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).