Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Struggles Amid Retail-Sector Weakness

Urban Outfitters, Inc. stumbles to new low following its earnings report

by 5/20/2014 12:07 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Absent any economic reports to digest, investors have turned their attention to earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is suffering a broad-based decline, as 25 of its 30 components are currently in the red. At midday, the blue-chip index is sitting 72.9 points lower, down 0.4% at 16,438.96. Elsewhere, the retail sector is getting hit following poorly received earnings reports from Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) and Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). The SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XRT) is down almost 2.3% at last check at $81.97. Later today, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser will take the podium, offering his outlook on the U.S. economy.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq Exchange stands at 0.34. Declining stocks are currently outpacing advancing names by a healthy margin of roughly 3-to-1.

  2. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges currently checks in near 0.80, with call volume outstripping put volume. So far today, 2.65 million calls have changed hands, compared to 2.12 million puts.

  3. One name seeing unusual option volume today is trendy apparel and housewares retailer Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN). The company last night disclosed a lower-than-expected quarterly profit amid increased competitive pressures and rising costs. Against this backdrop, the stock has slumped 7.2% to $33.56, and earlier notched a new annual low of $33.27. Option volume is running at more than three times the typical pace, and nearly three-quarters of the trades have occurred on the put side.

  4. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has edged higher today, but remains solidly south of the 13 level. At last check, the market's "fear gauge" was up 0.03 point, or 0.2%, at 12.45.

  5. Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.66, with put volume falling short of call volume. After tagging another new all-time low of $35.57 moments ago, the ETN is currently off 1.1% at $35.73.

View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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