Stocks quoted in this article:
Unexpected increases in consumer sentiment and the Conference Board's leading economic index have pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,264.44) a modest 14 points, or 0.1%, higher. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.95) is 0.3 point, or 2.4%, lower.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.71, with 3.8 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 2.7 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL - 35.44), which has added about 2.8% today -- and tagged a new decade-plus high of $36 -- after reporting stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings ahead of the open. Currently, calls make up 86.6% of the athletic shoe retailer's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 11.37) checks in at 1.04, with puts slightly outnumbering calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.02, indicating that the number of upward movers outpaces the decliners.
- Among the NASDAQ's major downward movers is VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS - 20.93), which has shed around 8% after being downgraded to "underperform" from "hold" and having its price target slashed to $16 from $31 at Jefferies earlier this morning.