Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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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:

  1. The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX - 13.16) is 0.4 point, or 2.7%, lower.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.34, with the number of upward movers outstripping the decliners.

  6. 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.

  7. 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%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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