Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,886.67) is down 24 points, or 0.2%, as investors digest the latest round of economic reports. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000 last week, disappointing economists who were expecting a climb to just 365,000. Meanwhile, personal incomes increased by 2.6% last month, according to the Commerce Department, besting economists' forecast for a 1.0% rise. In a related report, consumer spending edged 0.2% higher in December, matching consensus projections. Also of note, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) swelled to 55.6 in January, claiming its highest level since April 2012. Economists, on average, had expected a reading of just 50.5. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.35) is 0.03 point, or 0.2%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.94, with 3.5 million calls traded so far today, versus 3.3 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-slanted activity is Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS - 73.78), which has gained about 10.2%. The stock was flooded with bullish brokerage attention this morning after reporting a near 5% increase in fourth-quarter earnings, and issued a 2013 revenue outlook that bested analysts' expectations. Specifically, Susquehanna raised its price target to $95 from $85, while Jefferies, Credit Agricole, UBS, and Credit Suisse also upwardly revised their respective price targets. Currently, calls make up 72.8% of the tech concern's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 24.33) sits at 1.18, with puts outstripping calls.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.29, with the number of upward movers outpacing the decliners.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is JDS Uniphase Corp (NASDAQ:JDSU - 14.57), which has soared more than 17% in intraday action thanks to a stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings report. The upbeat results triggered an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Needham Research earlier in the session, while Piper Jaffray, MKM Partners, and RBC handed out upward price-target adjustments.

  6. Bullish sentiment climbed last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 54.3% from 53.2%, while the percentage bearish remained flat at 22.3%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction dropped to 23.4% from 24.5%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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