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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 157.2 points, or 1%, to 15,597.44, following news of a larger-than-expected drop in initial jobless claims last week. Elsewhere, fourth-quarter labor productivity rose slightly more than many economists anticipated, while labor costs dropped more sharply than economists had projected. Additionally, December's international trade gap widened more than expected. Lastly, a well-received earnings report from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is also helping to buoy the blue-chip barometer.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 0.85, with calls running ahead of puts. At last check, 3.99 million calls had been exchanged, versus 3.41 million puts.
- Among the equities with significant call volume is Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE:ALU), which has risen 4% to $4.32 after posting its first quarterly profit in nearly two years, thanks to CEO Michel Combes' turnaround efforts. At last check, 93.3% of ALU's options volume had transpired on the call side.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 3.70, with advancers outnumbering losers by about a 4-to-1 margin.
- One of the Big Board's noteworthy winners today is Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), which has spiked by 23% to wink at $7.24, following a fourth-quarter earnings beat. Earlier, the stock tagged a new annual high of $7.50.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has shed 2.1 points, or 10.7%, at 17.82.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- down more than 6% at $50.46 -- registers at 2.58, with put volume more than doubling call volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).