Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is down 74 points, or 0.5%, to 14,544.61, as it feels the weight of some downbeat economic data. Specifically, initial jobless claims rose by larger-than-anticipated 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 352,000. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index unexpectedly backpedaled to 1.3 in April from last month's reading of 2.0. Also of note, the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators fell by 0.1% in March -- snapping a streak of three straight monthly upticks, and disappointing economists who had predicted an increase.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 1.10, with 4.5 million puts traded so far today, compared to 4.1 million calls.
- Among the equities with heavy put activity is CarMax, Inc (NYSE:KMX), which has shed around 2% since the opening bell, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, puts make up 97.7% of the security's intraday option volume. At last check, KMX was trading at $40.69.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.71, with the number of decliners outweighing the upward movers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO), which has jumped about 11% in intraday action, after reporting a 49% increase in its first-quarter profit this morning. TZOO is presently trading at $24.15.
- Bullish sentiment waned again last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks dropped to 47.4% from 50.5%, while the percentage bearish remained flat at 20.6%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction rose to 32.0% from 28.9%.
- The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX) is 0.8 point, or 5%, higher, to linger in the 17.33 neighborhood.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- currently docked at 22.11 -- rests at 1.27, with puts outstripping calls.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) here.