Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12604.95) has powered 108 points higher, or 0.9%, erasing all of yesterday's losses, as this morning's dismal round of economic data has once again spurred chatter of further stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 23.82) has dropped 0.45 point, or 1.9%.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all nine options exchanges is docked at 1.05, with 2.85 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 3.01 million puts.
- Among the equities seeing accelerated options activity is Dow component Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - 65.18), which has tacked on 1.2% in the first half of the session. The consumer and pharmaceutical concern enjoyed an early morning upgrade to "stable" from "negative" by Moody's, following a reinstatement of the company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division, as well as its fully-funded acquisition of Swiss medical device maker Synthes.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) stands at 0.85, with calls outweighing puts.
- The NYSE shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.27, signaling that the number of advancers more than doubles the number of decliners.
- Among the NYSE's major decliners is Nokia Corporation (NOK - 2.34), which has swallowed around 16.14% in intraday action. The telecommunications concern was hit with a round of downgrades and price-target cuts after it announced massive job cuts and issued its second profit warning in as many months. The stock tagged a 15-year low of $2.30 in today's session.
- Optimism ticked higher for the week ended June 13, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view rose to 34.04% from 27.45%, while the percentage of bearish investors backpedaled to 35.79% from 45.75%. The percentage of investors who remain neutral edged up to 30.18% from 26.80%.