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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is continuing Thursday's advance, with the blue-chip index up 88.5 points, or 0.5%, at 16,419.55. What's more, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is 9.1 points, or 0.5%, higher, after touching a record intraday peak of 1,883.97 out of the gate. With a lack of economic reports today, Wall Street is likely watching the central bank, with a slew of Fed officials -- and former chairman Ben Bernanke -- stepping up to podiums across the country.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is currently perched at 0.73, with calls outpacing puts. So far today, 4.84 million calls have changed hands, compared to 3.55 million puts.
- One name seeing heavy call trading today is banking stock Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), which is up 2.2% at $75.92, as investors applaud the results of the Fed's stress tests. So far, nearly 91% of today's option volume has traded on the call side.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 3.23, with advancing stocks more than tripling the declining issues.
- One of the biggest upward movers on the Big Board today is Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN), which tagged a seven-year high of $43.61 earlier in the session. The stock was last seen 13.8% higher at $42.37, after private equity firm Golden Gate Capital said the stock was undervalued, and disclosed a 9.5% stake in the retailer.
- In the latest American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) survey, the percentage of bulls fell to a six-week low, dropping to 36.8% from 41.3%. The percentage of bears decreased to 26.2% from 26.8%, while the percentage of those with a neutral outlook soared to 37.1% from 31.8%.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.6 point, or 4.4%, to 13.88. The "fear barometer" is on pace to end the week 21.6% lower, and log its first Friday finish south of 14 since mid-February.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 1.69, with put volume outpacing call volume so far. The ETN has shed 1% at midday to $43.56.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).