Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,341.92) is up 46 points, or 0.3% -- touching yet another all-time high of 14,354.69 -- thanks to a promising unemployment report. Specifically, initial jobless claims dropped by 7,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, besting consensus estimates. On the flip side, however, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to a larger-than-expected $44.45 billion in January, due in large part to an uptick in oil imports.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX - 13.16) is 0.4 point, or 2.7%, lower.
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.68, with 4.1 million calls crossing the tape so far today, compared to 2.9 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-heavy activity is KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY - 9.85), which has added about 2 -- and climbed to a multi-year peak of $9.93 -- since the opening bell, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls make up 89.9% of the financial firm's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.12) sits at 0.92, with calls outpacing puts.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.34, with the number of upward movers outstripping the decliners.
- Among the NYSE's major advancers is Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV - 31.60), which has soared about 26.6% in intraday activity after revealing a narrower-than-anticipated quarterly loss earlier this morning.
- Bullish sentiment declined again last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks dropped to 44.2% from 46.3%, while the percentage bearish remained unchanged at 21.1%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction climbed to 34.7% from 32.6%.