Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXJDX:DJI) has suffered close to a triple-digit loss so far today, after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart hinted that the central bank could begin tapering its bond-buying efforts as early as September. These comments echoed ones made by Dallas Fed Chief Richard Fisher in yesterday's session. At midday, the blue-chip index is off 98 points, or 0.6%, at 15,514.17, with 27 of its 30 components sitting in the red. Charles Evans, head of Chicago's Federal Reserve Bank, will speak later today.
Elsewhere, the Commerce Department reported that exports rose by 2.2% in June from May to a seasonally a11djusted $191.17 billion, the highest monthly reading ever recorded. Imports, meanwhile, dropped by 2.5% month over month, resulting in a net 22.4% contraction in the U.S. trade gap to $34.22 billion. Economists had projected a deficit of $43.5 billion.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is sitting near 0.88, with 3.34 million calls and 2.97 million puts crossing the tape so far today.
- Among the equities seeing call-slanted activity today is Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS), which is trading 2.6% higher at $69.65 after notching a new record peak of $71.50. At present, roughly two-thirds of the stock's option volume today has traded on the call side. Earlier, the upscale retailer reported an 82% jump in fiscal first-quarter profit and upped its per-share guidance for the year.
- The NYSE shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.23, with the number of declining issues trouncing the number of advancers.
- Among the notable decliners on the NYSE is Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), which has gapped 5.5% lower to $48.80. ANF, along with other apparel retailers, is falling in sympathy with American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), which has plunged to a new annual low after issuing a weaker-than-expected quarterly guidance.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is higher today, up 0.8 point, or 6.4%, to 12.60. The VIX is currently trying to muscle back atop its 10-day moving average after three consecutive closes south of this trendline.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) is presently perched at 2.18. Puts are handily outpacing calls on the ETN, which is currently up 2.2% at 14.36.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).