Stocks quoted in this article:
Following last night's State of the Union address, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,964.47) is down 54 points, or 0.4%, as investors sort through the latest round of earnings and economic reports. Regarding the latter, the Commerce Department said retail sales inched 0.1% higher in January to a seasonally adjusted $416.6 billion, matching economists' expectations. Meanwhile, a separate report showed that business inventories climbed 0.1% in December -- again, falling in line with consensus estimates. Also of note, the Labor Department revealed that import prices rose 0.6% last month, while economists, on average, were expecting an increase of 0.8%. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.12) is 0.5 point, or 3.8%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.84, with 3.7 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 3.1 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL - 20.95), which has tacked on around 2% during the course of the session, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls account for 98.6% of the casino operator's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.78) -- which tagged a record low of 22.09 earlier this morning -- sits at 1.67, with puts easily outnumbering calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.97, with the number of decliners slightly outpacing the upward movers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 265.44), which has added about 2.6% in intraday trading. The Internet marketplace inked a deal with CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) to provide more content for Amazon's Prime video-streaming service.