Stocks quoted in this article:
Following yesterday's observance of Presidents Day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,033.73) is up 52 points, or 0.4%, buoyed by an uptick in M&A activity. Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said its housing market index fell to 46 this month, marking its first decline in nearly a year. Economists, on average, had expected a rise to 48. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.63) is 0.2 point, or 1.4%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.74, with 3.7 million calls traded so far today, compared to 2.8 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-heavy activity is Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT - 26.78), which has tacked on almost 2% during the course of the session, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls make up 95.5% of the biopharmaceutical firm's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 21.35) -- which tagged an all-time low of 21.32 earlier this morning -- stands at 1.06, with puts slightly outnumbering calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.02, with the number upward movers more than doubling the decliners.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS - 14.49), which has surged nearly 12% in intraday trading, after receiving a price-target hike to $17 from $13 at Janney Capital ahead of the open. The brokerage firm said the company will likely benefit from a potential merger between OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX) and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), due to store closures and corporate restructuring.