Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,943.26) is up 63 points, or 0.5%, buoyed by some upbeat economic data from across the pond, as well as a strong quarterly earnings report from Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.73) is 0.5 point, or 3.2%, lower.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 1.01, with calls and puts each seeing more than 3.2 million contracts exchanged so far today.
- Among the equities with call-slanted activity is Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF - 45.77), which has shed around 6.7% during the course of the session, after falling slightly short of analysts' quarterly earnings forecast this morning. Nevertheless, calls make up 54.2% of the security's intraday option volume. At the other end of the spectrum is Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY - 54.01), which has seen 86.9% of its trading cross on the put side of the aisle. At last check, the stock remains nearly flat with yesterday's close.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.78) sits at 0.86, with calls outpacing puts.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.20, with the number upward movers more than doubling the decliners.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Sourcefire, Inc. (NASDAQ:FIRE - 48.52), which has soared almost 15% in intraday action after revealing better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, and issuing a current-quarter sales outlook that bested analysts' projections. The results also triggered a price-target hike to $52 from $48 at Jefferies ahead of the open.
- Optimism waned during the week ended Feb. 20, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks slipped to 41.8% from 42.3%, while the percentage bearish rose to 32.5% from 28.7%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral fell to 25.7% from 29.0%.