Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has muscled 38.9 points, or 0.2%, higher to 16,315.55, helped by news that U.S. consumer confidence rose to higher-than-expected levels in March. Elsewhere, February new home sales came up short of the consensus view, while the latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index offered mixed signals.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 0.77, with calls outpacing puts. Currently, 3.89 million calls have crossed the tape, compared to 3.03 million puts.
- Among the equities with notable call volume is Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY), which is 1.3% higher at $9.20. Over 95% of AUY's options volume has traded on the call side.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.20, with advancers running ahead of decliners.
- One of the Big Board's noteworthy gainers today is seasoning king McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC), which has tacked on 5.8% to trade at $71.39 following a fiscal first-quarter earnings beat early this morning.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.2 point, or 1.1%, to 14.92, putting it on track for its second finish below 15 in the last four days.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- up slightly at $44.39 -- registers at 2.17, with put volume more than doubling call volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).