Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,889.52) is up 11 points, or 0.1%, erasing earlier losses triggered by a lackluster economic report. The Commerce Department revealed that new home sales fell by 0.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000 in October, versus the 385,000 projected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. Meanwhile, September's figure was downwardly revised to 369,000 from an earlier estimate of 389,000. However, investors appear to be focusing on positive comments made by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who waxed optimistic about the current fiscal-cliff impasse. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.07) is 0.2 point, or 0.9%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.92, with 3.5 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 3.2 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO - 20.94), which has trekked about 8% today, thanks to quarterly earnings results that topped analysts' projections. The company also raised its full-year outlook. Currently, calls represent 85.4% of the apparel retailer's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 30.29) checks in at 1.28, with puts outstripping calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.78, with the number of upward movers outpacing the decliners.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST - 101.06), which has gained around 4.7% in intraday action, after reporting stronger-than-expected same-store sales for November, and announcing a special dividend of $7 per share.
- Bullish sentiment climbed last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 39.3% from 37.2%, while the percentage bearish remained flat at 27.7%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction fell to 33.0% from 35.1%.