Stocks quoted in this article:
Amid an empty economic docket, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,973.01) is down 20 points, or 0.1%, as investors give pause in a relatively quiet trading session. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen is on deck to discuss the economic recovery this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.98) is 0.04 point, or 0.3%, lower.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.92, with 2.9 million calls traded so far today, compared to 2.7 million puts.
- Among the equities with call-heavy activity is The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR - 28.56), which has climbed 1.3% -- and tagged a new multi-year high of $28.79 -- during the course of the session. The grocery store chain was upgraded to "neutral" from "sell" at Goldman Sachs this morning. Currently, calls make up 96.8% of KR's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.69) stands at 0.67, with calls easily outpacing puts.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.71, with the number of downward movers comfortably outpacing the advancers.
- Among the NYSE's major decliners is Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ - 31.22), which has shed about 2% in intraday trading. The company filed a motion against the Department of Justice's lawsuit to prohibit a $20.1 billion bid by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) NYSE:BUD) to acquire Grupo Modelo SA. STZ stands to benefit from the potential merger.