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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is paring some of yesterday's steep losses, even as investors digest the latest developments surrounding potential missile strikes on Syria -- which could begin as soon as tomorrow. With more than half of its 30 components trading in the black, the Dow is currently up 55 points, or 0.4%, at 14,831.08.
In economic news, pending home sales fell 1.3% to 109.5 in July, noted the National Association of Realtors. This was slightly wider than the 1% drop expected by economists. On a year-over-year basis, however, the July index came in 6.7% higher. Elsewhere, commodities remain in advance mode amid Syria-inspired uncertainty. At last check, October-dated crude was sitting north of the $110-per-barrel mark despite an unexpected build in weekly crude stockpiles; meanwhile, gold was perched fractionally higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands near 0.83. So far today, roughly 3.0 million calls have crossed the tape, along with 2.5 million puts.
- TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) is among the names with call-skewed trading activity today; more than 60% of its options volume has crossed on the call side. The digital-recording pioneer announced second-quarter earnings last night, which resulted in some mixed brokerage activity ahead of the open. Still, the shares have tacked on 4.8% to trade at $11.50.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.64. Advancing stocks are currently leading declining issues by a margin of more than 3-to-2.
- A notable leader on the Big Board today is Chico's FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS), which has climbed 6.4% to $16.31 after an initial move lower in pre-market activity. The retailer's second-quarter results failed to meet analysts' estimates, but the news was sweetened by reports of 4.9% sales growth in the current quarter to date.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is back in the red today, down 0.5 point, or 3%, at 16.27. Yesterday, the market's fear barometer settled at its highest point since June 28.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.93, with call volume narrowly exceeding put volume. Today, the ETN is trading 1.3% lower at 16.31.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).