Stocks quoted in this article:
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) flew to record intraday highs earlier of 16,735.51 and 1,902.17, respectively. Stoking the bullish bias has been a round of M&A activity, as well as an upwardly revised reading on retail sales for March. (Meanwhile, April's retail sales data missed expectations.) Elsewhere on the economic front, import and export prices unexpectedly declined last month, while business inventories for March arrived in line with the consensus estimates. Heading into the latter half of the session, the DJI is up 19.49 points, or 0.1%, at 16,714.96. The S&P 500, meanwhile, is enjoying a 0.05% lead to trade at 1,897.57.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq Exchange stands at 0.50. Declining stocks are currently outpacing advancing ones by a 2-to-1 margin.
The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands at 0.82. Roughly 3.59 million calls, compared to about 2.96 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
Among the names seeing heavy call trading today is D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), which is up 1.2% at $22.86 this afternoon. Upbeat comments on making credit more accessible to homeowners from the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has provided a sector-wide lift for homebuilders, and against this backdrop, more than 96% of DHI's overall options volume has occurred on the call side.
- Although the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has edged 0.4% higher to 12.28, the market's "fear gauge" is still comfortably on track to finish a third consecutive session south of the 13 mark.
The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) is down 0.3% at $37.02, after earlier falling to a new record low of $36.82. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.57, with puts outstripping calls.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).