Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 156 points, or 1.1%, to 14,987.58, courtesy of this morning's positive jobs data. The Labor Department said employers added 165,000 jobs last month, easily trumping consensus estimates. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%, marking its lowest level since December 2008. Economists, on average, had expected the rate to remain unchanged from April. These latest figures propelled the blue-chip barometer to a fresh all-time intraday high of 15,009.59 earlier in the session, and overshadowed a pair of less-than-stellar economic reports. Specifically, the Commerce Department said factory orders fell by a larger-than-anticipated 4% in March to a seasonally adjusted $467.29 billion. Also of note, the ISM's non-manufacturing index unexpectedly declined to 53.1 in April, its weakest reading since July 2012.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges is docked at 0.78, with 4.9 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 3.8 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS), which has climbed about 2% since the opening bell. The sporting goods retailer appointed Andre J. Hawaux -- an executive at ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) -- to succeed retiring Timothy Kullman as chief financial officer. Currently, calls represent 85.1% of the security's intraday option volume. At last check, DKS was trading at $49.61.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 4.20, with the number of upward movers more than quadrupling the decliners.
- Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), which has spiked around 6.4% -- and tagged a new record peak of $56.35 -- in intraday action, after reporting a 63% increase in first-quarter profits on Thursday. The results also triggered a round of price-target hikes from the likes of Needham Research, Guggenheim, Stifel Nicolaus, and S&P Capital IQ. GILD is presently trading at $55.53.
- Optimism increased during the week ended May 1, 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 31.0% from 28.3%, while the percentage bearish dropped to 35.9% from 38.8%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral rose to 33.1% from 32.9%.
- The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX) is 0.7 point, or 5.1%, lower, to explore the 12.90 area.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- currently resting at 18.77 -- sits at 1.62, with puts easily outnumbering calls.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).