Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is down 6 points, or 0.04%, to 15,099.26, despite this morning's promising employment report. Nevertheless, the blue-chip barometer still claimed another record intraday high of 15,123.43 earlier in the session. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell by 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 -- marking their lowest level since January 2008, and besting economists' expectations. Also of note, the Commerce Department revealed that wholesale inventories climbed by larger-than-anticipated 0.4% in March.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.89, with 3.7 million calls crossing the tape so far today, versus 3.3 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), which has jumped about 16.8% -- and tagged a new annual high of $22.79 -- since the opening bell, amid chatter that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) reportedly offered around $1 billion for the digital assets of Nook Media LLC. Currently, calls represent 87.8% of the book retailer's intraday option volume. At last check, BKS was trading at $20.75.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.67, with the number of downward movers outstripping the advancers.
- Among the NYSE's major decliners is McDermott International (NYSE:MDR), which has shed about 15.3% in intraday action, after unveiling weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings yesterday. The lackluster results also prompted Deutsche Bank to initiate coverage of the security with a middling "hold" rating this morning. MDR is presently trading at $9.34.
- Bullish sentiment climbed again last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 52.1% from 47.9%, while the percentage bearish increased to 19.8% from 18.8%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction dropped to 28.1% from 33.3%.
- The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX) is 0.4 point, or 3.4%, higher, to hover at 13.09.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- which is currently docked at 18.61 -- checks in at 0.69, with calls outpacing puts.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).