Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Heads South on Mixed Data

Spinoff plans lift Baxter International Inc., while talk of a new music strategy has bolstered Twitter Inc

by 3/27/2014 12:12 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has explored both sides of breakeven today, but was last seen 46.4 points, or 0.3%, lower at 16,222.62, as Wall Street digests the latest batch of domestic economic reports. While weekly jobless claims fell by more than expected, the National Association of Realtors' gauge of pending home sales dropped to a two-year nadir in February. The final gross domestic product (GDP) reading seems to have tipped the scales in the bears' favor, as the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, compared to economists' estimates for 2.7% growth.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges is currently perched at 0.83, with calls outpacing puts. So far today, 4.93 million calls have changed hands, compared to 4.11 million puts.

  2. One name seeing heavy call trading today is health care company Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), which is up 5.4% at $73.84 -- and hit a new record peak of $75.68 -- after announcing plans to spin off its biopharmaceutical operations. So far, nearly 72% of today's option volume has traded on the call side.

  3. The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 1.01, with advancing stocks and declining issues nearly neck and neck.

  4. One of the biggest upward movers on the Big Board today is Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which has advanced 3.8% to $46.13 amid chatter of a new music strategy expected to debut this week.

  5. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 2.6% higher at 15.30. The "fear barometer" has been relatively tame this week, up 2%.

  6. Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 1.09, with put volume barely outpacing call volume so far. The ETN has shed 0.1% at midday to $44.57.

View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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