Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Hovers North of Breakeven on Upbeat Data

PCYC claims a new multi-year high on strong earnings

by 2/15/2013 12:01 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,975.41) is up 2 points, or 0.01%, as Wall Street digests a bevy of economic data. The Empire State Manufacturing Index arrived at 10.04 in February, besting economists' forecast for a reading of negative 3.0. Meanwhile, the Fed revealed that industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, and capacity utilization declined to 79.1%. Economists, on average, had projected a rise of 0.2% and a wider retreat to 78.9%, respectively. Also of note, the preliminary February reading for the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index climbed to 76.3, versus an expected reading of just 75.0. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.31) is 0.4 point, or 2.8%, lower.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges sits at 0.77, with 4.8 million calls exchanged so far today, versus 3.7 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-slanted activity is Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST - 50.98), which has gained around 7% on the heels of Wednesday night's report that the company is changing its labeling to say "Nutrition Facts" rather than "Supplement Facts." Currently, calls represent 62.3% of the energy drink giant's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.02) -- which touched another record low of 21.84 earlier this morning -- checks in at 1.15, with puts outpacing calls.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.13, with the number upward movers outstripping the decliners.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC - 85.39), which has spiked about 6.5% -- and tagged a decade-plus high of $85.55 -- in intraday action, after reporting better-than-anticipated quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. The results also triggered price-target hikes at RBC and Credit Suisse ahead of the open.

  6. Optimism edged lower during the week ended Feb. 13, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks slipped to 42.3% from 42.8%, while the percentage bearish also dropped to 28.7% from 29.5%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral rose to 29.0% from 27.7%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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