Stocks quoted in this article:
Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has been in the red since the start of the session, the blue-chip barometer is easing off its earlier lows -- last seen a slight 21.3 points, or 0.1%, lower at 16,921.84. The same can be said for the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX), which was down 4.2 points, or 0.2%, at last check to trade at 1,947.08. Today's cautious stance comes in the wake of three consecutive record closes for the DJI (and four for the SPX), as traders mull over current equity valuations.
Also in consideration today is a round of upbeat economic reports. Specifically, job openings surged to a seven-year high, small-business optimism hit its loftiest perch in more than six years, and April wholesale inventories rose by a higher-than-expected margin.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 0.50, with the number of declining stocks doubling the advancers.
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges comes in at 0.75. Roughly 3.85 million calls, compared to about 2.89 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
- Among the names with call-heavy trading activity today is B/E Aerospace Inc (NASDAQ:BEAV), which is down 4.8% at $94.14. Earlier, the aircraft specialist announced it would separate into two publically traded companies, speculating the split will be finalized in the first quarter of 2015. At last check, overall options volume was trading at more than six times the intraday average, and 84% of the activity has occurred on the call side.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.1% at last check to linger near 11.16; however, today's advance is being largely contained by the index's 10-day moving average.
- The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) is currently down 0.6% at $30.56. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.97, with put volume nearly doubling call volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).