Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,893.52) is sticking close to breakeven today, as traders take a cautious stance after this morning's mixed bag of economic data. Among reports making news, demand for durable goods increased by 4.6% in December, besting analysts' expectations for a slimmer 1.8% rise, while pending home sales fell by an unexpected 4.3% last month. Although the home sales data fell short of economists' projections for a 1.7% improvement, the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) indicator shows activity in the housing market has improved for a 20th consecutive month. In equities news, construction concern Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - 97.90) has added 2.4%, with Wall Street taking a glass-half-full approach to the Dow component's quarterly results. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.60) has added 0.7 point, or 5.5%.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.82, with 3.4 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 2.8 million puts.
- Despite being down roughly 2.7% today, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY - 58.16) is among the equities seeing heavy call activity. The dreary price action comes on the heels of this morning's bearish brokerage note, in which Goldman Sachs cut its outlook on the stock to "sell" from "neutral." Traders have paid no mind, though, as calls currently make up 90.1% of the retailer's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 23.37) sits at 0.89, with calls slightly outpacing puts.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) arrives at 0.58. In other words, for every one stock rising in today's session, there are nearly two equities falling.
- 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD - 60.34) is among the NYSE's major decliners, with the stock down roughly 12.6% on reports of a looming IPO for rival ExOne. Plus, the equity's Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 77 indicates DDD is swimming in overbought waters. In other words, a near-term consolidation may have been in the works.