Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,577.59) is down 18 points, or 0.1%, as downbeat guidance from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is overshadowing solid earnings from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Adding insult to injury, the preliminary January reading for the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index arrived at 71.3, down from December's final reading of 72.9. This latest figure -- which marked the index's lowest level in over a year -- disappointed economists, who were expecting a rise to 75.0. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.05) -- which touched a multi-year low of 13.00 earlier in the session -- is down 0.5 point, or 3.8%.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.67, with 5.2 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 3.5 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-heavy activity is Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT - 12.75), which has tacked on about 2.8% after receiving a price-target hike to $12.50 from $11.50 at UBS this morning. Currently, calls represent 81% of the security's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 25.35) sits at 1.68, with puts outstripping calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.69, with the number of downward movers outpacing the advancers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR - 14.34), which has surrendered around 8% in intraday trading. The security was downgraded to "underperform" from "hold" at Jefferies ahead of the opening bell.