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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has dropped 108 points, or 0.7%, at midday -- pressured lower by post-earnings price action from blue chips AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). Additionally, concerns over emerging markets are lingering, after unexpected interest-rate hikes by central banks in Turkey and South Africa failed to stimulate the countries' respective currencies. Looking ahead, all eyes will be on this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest policy decision, slated for 2 p.m. ET. Economists are expecting the Federal Reserve to reduce its asset purchases by an additional $10 billion per month. Heading into the latter half of the session, the DJI was seen hovering around 15,820.91.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges stands at 0.87. Roughly 4.06 million calls, compared to about 3.54 million puts, have crossed the tape so far.
- Among the names with call-heavy trading is Vringo, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNG), which has soared 28% today to trade at $5.11. Earlier, the stock hit a record high of $5.45. A U.S. District Court in Virginia Tuesday said Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) must pay the mobile phone software company for infringing on a pair of its patents. At last check, more than 92% of today's overall option volume has occurred on the call side.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.55, with the number of declining stocks nearly doubling those that are advancing.
- One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today is Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS), which is down 8.7% to $17.11. Despite beating both top- and bottom-line estimates in its fiscal third-quarter earnings report, the semiconductor issue offered up a lower-than-expected revenue outlook for the current quarter.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.2 points, or 7.6%, to 17.00, with the market's "fear gauge" on track to notch a seventh consecutive close atop its 10-day moving average.
- The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) is up 1.2 points, or 2.7%, to linger near $44.72. Meanwhile, the ETN's put/call volume ratio stands at 1.04, with puts having the slightest edge over calls.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).