Stocks quoted in this article:
Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) afternoon announcement regarding interest rate updates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,952.19) is fractionally lower, as a weak fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading has overshadowed an upbeat earnings report from The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). Specifically, the Commerce Department said GDP fell to a yearly rate of 0.1% between October and December of last year. Economists, on average, had expected a growth rate of 1.0%. Meanwhile, the ADP National Employment Report showed private employers created 192,000 jobs in January, besting economists' predictions for a gain of just 165,000. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.84) is 0.5 point, or 4%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.92, with 3.4 million calls exchanged so far today, compared to 3.2 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS - 13.75), which has tacked on about 0.7%. Currently, calls represent 99.5% of the retailer's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 23.33) checks in at 0.70, with calls outnumbering puts.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.69, with the number of downward movers outstripping the advancers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN - 52.74), which has shed about 4% in intraday trading. The stock was downgraded to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer ahead of the opening bell.