Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,855.41) is up 44 points, or 0.3%, as anxieties over the euro zone and the ominous "fiscal cliff" have been slightly tempered by some positive economic data. Specifically, the preliminary November reading for the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 84.9 from 82.6 in October, marking its highest level in over five years. Economists, on the other hand, had forecast a decline to 81.5. Concurrently, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories climbed by 1.1% in September to a seasonally adjusted $494.15 billion, while U.S. import prices increased 0.5% in October, notching a third consecutive monthly gain. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.07) is 0.4 point, or 2.3%, lower.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges sits at 1.00, with both calls and puts seeing 3.5 million contracts exchanged so far today.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET - 32.44), which has tacked on 1.4% today. Presently, calls make up 88.5% of the insurance company's intraday option volume. Meanwhile, US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC - 12.81) is seeing 97.7% of its intraday option volume trading on the put side of the aisle. At last check, the airliner is off 1.6%.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 36.59) checks in at 0.74, with calls outnumbering puts.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.31, with the number of upward movers outstripping the decliners.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Zipcar Inc (NASDAQ:ZIP - 7.53), which has jumped around 24.7% in intraday action after revealing stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings post-close yesterday.