Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Turns Higher as Earnings Season Approaches

MGIC Investment Corp. rallies on March data, Baidu Inc (ADR) on merger chatter

by 4/8/2014 12:01 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has explored both sides of breakeven today, and was last seen 24.2 points, or 0.2%, higher at 16,270.05, as investors await the unofficial start to earnings season this afternoon, when Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) reports. In economic news, the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed that employers posted 4.2 million job openings in February -- 7.7% more than in January, and the highest since January 2008 -- and that there are currently about 2.5 unemployed Americans for each open position.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 0.83, with calls outweighing puts. Currently, 3.69 million calls are on the tape, compared to 3.08 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with notable call volume is private mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG), which is 5.2% higher at $8.43, after releasing its March operating statistics early this morning. Over 96% of MTG's options volume has crossed on the call side.

  3. The Nasdaq Exchange shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.09, with advancing stocks more than doubling declining issues.

  4. One of the Nasdaq's major advancers at midday is China-based Internet firm Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), which has gained 6.1% to trade at $152.33. BIDU's travel website, Qunar, is reportedly in merger talks with International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP).

  5. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has dropped 0.5 point, or 3.2%, to 15.07, after briefly peaking above the 16 level earlier.

  6. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- off 1% at $42.36 -- is 0.54, with call volume nearly doubling put volume.

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

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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