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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has dropped 244.4 points, or 1.6%, to 15,454.45, pressured lower by a much weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing index. Markit's final reading for January's purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) -- as well as construction spending numbers -- disappointed analysts, as well. Elsewhere, Janet Yellen was sworn in as chair of the Federal Reserve's board of governors earlier -- becoming the central bank's first female lead.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 0.85, with calls outpacing puts. At last check, 4.78 million calls were on the tape, versus 4.15 million puts.
- Among the equities with notable call volume is Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), which is bucking the broad-market trend lower, gaining 3.3% to wink at $31.41. The rally comes on the heels of successful results from a mid-stage trial of a breast cancer treatment. At last check, 60.6% of PFE's options volume had crossed on the call side.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.23, with declining issues outstripping advancers by a greater than 4-to-1 count.
- One of the Nasdaq's noteworthy losers today is Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA), which has fallen 7.4% to $6.84, despite a lack of notable news drivers.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 1.9 points, or 10.3%, higher at 20.30. The market's "fear gauge" is now on pace for its highest daily close since early October.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- docked at $51.89 -- registers at 0.62, with call volume outweighing put volume.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).