Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Dawdles Near Breakeven

TJX raises its earnings outlook on strong December sales

by 1/3/2013 11:50 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) release of its December meeting minutes later this afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,408.69) is off 4 points, or 0.03%, as Wall Street take a bit of a breather from yesterday's triple-digit rally. On the economic front, the U.S. added 215,000 private-sector jobs last month, according to a national employment report released by Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP). Economists, on average, had predicted a gain of just 150,000 jobs. However, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims increased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 last week, disappointing economists who had expected a slight rise to just 363,000. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.40) is 0.3 point, or 1.9%, lower.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges sits at 0.68, with 3.8 million calls exchanged so far today, compared to 2.6 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with heavy call activity is Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL - 17.78), which has climbed around 2.4% -- and tagged a new multi-year high of $17.84 -- after being upgraded to "conviction buy" from "buy" at Goldman Sachs ahead of the open. Currently, calls represent 99.1% of the casino operator's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX 27.77) -- which sank to a new record low of 27.65 earlier in the session -- stands at 1.01, with calls nearly equaling puts.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.81, with the number of upward movers almost doubling the decliners.

  5. Among the NYSE's major advancers is The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX - 44.69), which has gained about 3.5% in intraday action after reporting a 10% increase in December sales, as well as a 6% increase in same-store sales. The retailer also upwardly revised its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings guidance.

  6. Optimism decreased during the week ended Jan. 2, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks fell to 38.7% from 44.4%, while the percentage bearish rose to 36.2% from 30.2%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral dipped to 25.1% from 25.4%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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