Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is enjoying a triple-digit lead at midday, as better-than-expected retail sales data overshadows a tepid business inventories reading. Specifically, retail sales for March rose 1.1% -- the most since September 2012. Economists, meanwhile, were calling for a slimmer rise of 0.8%. Excluding car sales, retail sales arrived at 0.7%, well above the consensus estimate of 0.4%. Business inventories, meanwhile, landed at 0.4%, just shy of the 0.5% whisper number. Heading into the second half of the session, the DJI is up 112.67 points, or 0.7%, at 16,139.42 -- just a stone's throw off the highs of the day.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges currently stands at 0.87, with call volume slightly outpacing put volume. So far today, 3.75 million calls have changed hands, compared to 3.28 million puts.
Among the names seeing heavy call activity is Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE:EW), which is flirting with a 13% lead at last check to trade at $82.33. On Friday, a federal court in Delaware ruled in favor of EW's transcatheter heart valve patent infringement case against sector peer Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT). Option players are cheering today's price pop, with more than three-quarters of the day's overall options volume occurring on the call side.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange stands at 3.23. Advancing stocks more than triple declining issues.
One of the biggest gainers on the Big Board today is Goodrich Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:GDP), which is up 34.2% to $24.70. Earlier, the company announced the completion and a successful operational update of its Blades 33H-1 well in Louisiana.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has surrendered its foothold atop 17. The "fear gauge" is currently down 3.3% at 16.47.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 1.58, with puts having the edge over calls. The ETN is 0.9% lower today at $44.36.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).