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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is blazing a trail to record highs, with the index last seen 75.7 points, or 0.5%, higher, at an intraday peak of 16,813.21. In the same vein, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is flirting with its own all-time high at 1,936.26, a gain of 8.4 points, or 0.4%. The benchmarks got an early lift from across the pond, after the European Central Bank (ECB) slashed its primary interest rate and took the road less traveled by instituting a negative deposit rate. Stateside, however, weekly jobless claims rose more than expected.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 2.98, with advancing stocks nearly tripling declining issues.
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is currently perched at 0.76, with calls outpacing puts. So far today, 3.5 million calls have changed hands, compared to 2.7 million puts.
- One name seeing heavy call trading today is pharmacy concern Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), which is down 8.8% at $7.75 after unveiling weaker-than-expected current-quarter guidance and slashing its fiscal-year outlook. Nevertheless, nearly 71% of RAD's option volume thus far has transpired on the call side.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 0.5 point, or 3.9%, lower at 11.61, backpedaling beneath the closely watched 12 level. The market's "fear gauge," however, remains 1.8% higher this week.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.82, with call volume exceeding put volume so far. The ETN has surrendered 2.6% to $32.30, and touched another record low of $32.26 earlier today.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).