Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,118.86) is up 45 points, or 0.3%, as Wall Street digests a mixed bag of economic data. Specifically, the Labor Department revealed that nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 146,000 in November -- topping economists' expectations for an increase of just 80,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7%, notching its lowest level since December 2008. However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index's preliminary December reading tumbled to 74.5 from last month's final reading of 82.7. This latest figure disappointed economists, who were forecasting a drop to just 82.0. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.29) is 0.3 point, or 1.8%, lower.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges checks in at 0.79, with 3.1 million calls exchanged so far today, compared to 2.5 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-skewed activity is American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AXL - 10.36), which has tacked on about 1.5% today. Currently, calls represent 99.9% of the auto-parts manufacturer's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 30.40) sits at 0.71, with calls outnumbering puts.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.82, with the number of downward movers outpacing the advancers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN - 9.72), which has shed almost 19% in intraday action. The biopharmaceutical company received some bearish brokerage attention today after revealing that it has just begun the task of hiring a sales force to launch its Vascepta pill. The disappointing news triggered price-target cuts at Canaccord Genuity (to $19 from $26) and MKM Partners (to $12 from $15) during the first half of the session.