Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is pointed 75.81 points, or 0.4%, higher at 16,116.37 this afternoon, as investors digest the bundle of economic reports released earlier today. So far this month, U.S. manufacturing activity has accelerated at its fastest pace since May 2010, according to the preliminary reading of the flash purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) for February. The data helped to offset a bigger-than-expected drop in the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey last month. Meanwhile, U.S. consumer prices edged slightly higher in January, while the number of initial jobless claims dropped last week to a seasonally adjusted 336,000.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands at 0.93. Roughly 4.0 million calls, compared to about 3.76 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
- Among the names with call-heavy trading activity today is DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), which has seen 93.3% of its intraday options volume change hands on the call side. Earlier today, the stock bolted to a record peak of $75.50, thanks to a strong fourth-quarter sales report. At last check, DTV had pared its gains to 2.8% to trade at $74.95.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.90, with advancers almost doubling declining stocks.
- Among the top outperformers on the Nasdaq today is Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), which bounced to a decade-plus high of $44.64, following last night's stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report. Currently, the stock is positioned 7.6% higher at $43.02.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has dropped 4.2% to 14.85, after closing atop the 15 mark yesterday for the first time since Feb. 10.
- The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) has fallen 1.8% today to $43.42. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.64, with put volume healthily outpacing call volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).