Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Struggles to Regain its Upward Momentum

MDR shares falter on weak quarterly earnings results

by 5/9/2013 11:55 AM
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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.67, with the number of downward movers outstripping the advancers.

  4. 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.

  5. 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%.

  6. The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX) is 0.4 point, or 3.4%, higher, to hover at 13.09.

  7. 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).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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