Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,264.70) is up 16 points, or 0.1%, as Wall Street awaits the latest policy update from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be holding a press conference later this afternoon at 2:15 p.m. EST. Also of note, the Labor Department revealed that import prices fell by 0.9% in November, marking the first decline in four months. Economists, on average, had expected a drop of just 0.5%. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.97) is 0.4 point, or 2.6%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges sits at 0.74, with 2.8 million calls crossing the tape so far today, versus 2.1 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-heavy activity is D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI - 19.27), which has gained nearly 4% today. Currently, calls represent 97.2% of the homebuilder's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 29.19) -- which tagged a new record low of $28.73 earlier in the session -- stands at 0.43, with calls more than doubling puts.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.50, with the number of upward movers comfortably outpacing the decliners.
- Among the NYSE's major advancers is Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV - 22.49), which has tacked on about 4.6% in intraday trading. The company announced this morning the appointment of Samuel J. Merksamer -- managing director at Icahn Capital LP -- to its board of directors. He will replace retiring board member Diane Gulyas.
- Bullish sentiment climbed higher last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 45.7% from 43.6%, while the percentage bearish fell to 23.4% from 25.5%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction remained flat at 30.9%.