Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,865.04) is up 86 points, or 0.6%, as some upbeat global and domestic economic data has tempered this morning's lackluster quarterly earnings report from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). On the home front, the Labor Department said first-time jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000 last week. This latest figure notched a five-year low, and bested economists' expectations for a drop to just 360,000. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.60) is 0.1 point, or 1.1%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks at 0.73, with 4.9 million calls crossing the tape so far today, compared to 3.6 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (NYSE:TPX - 38.21), which has gained around 9%, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls account for 84.8% of the mattress guru's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.74) -- which tagged yet another record low of 22.45 earlier in the session -- sits at 1.80, with puts almost doubling calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.85, with the number of upward movers outstripping the decliners by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO - 23.78), which has soared almost 24% in intraday action, after reporting stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the open.
- Optimism increased during the week ended Jan. 23, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 52.3% from 44.0%, while the percentage bearish dropped to 24.3% from 27.3%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral fell to 23.4% from 28.7%.