Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,281.55) is up 10 points, or 0.1%, boosted slightly by gains in the financial sector, along with lingering hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB) will help ease the euro-zone debt crisis by purchasing Spanish and Italian bonds. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.36) is 0.3 point, or 2.4%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.70, with 3.8 million calls being traded so far today, versus 2.7 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE:OCR - 31.96), which has tacked on about 0.5% today. Currently, calls make up 99.8% of the healthcare issue's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 11.09) -- which tagged a new all-time low of 11.02 earlier in the session -- stands at 0.54, with calls outpacing puts by a margin of nearly two to one.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.15, signaling that the number of upward movers more than doubles the decliners.
- Among the NYSE's major advancers is Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU - 24.13), which has added about 5.2% in intraday action after it was reported that the North American Metals & Minerals Industry is on pace to hit $35 billion in construction starts for 2012.