Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Sinks as Global Woes Trump Domestic Data

Dendreon Corporation rallies after earnings, drug news; Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. falls on reduced guidance

by 3/3/2014 11:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is sitting with a triple-digit loss at midday, with swelling concerns about Ukraine at the forefront of most traders' minds. At last check, the blue-chip index was down 202 points, or 1.2%, at 16,119.77. Relatively upbeat economic data has subsequently taken a backseat to this geopolitical tension. The latest purchasing managers index reading was notably higher last month, while the Institute for Supply Management's reading on manufacturing activity was better than expected. Elsewhere, personal income edged up 0.3% in January, in line with estimates, while spending increased by more than expected.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges currently stands at 0.94, with call volume narrowly outpacing put volume. So far today, 3.52 million calls have changed hands, compared to 3.32 million puts.

  2. Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN) is seeing unusual option volume, with more than 90% of today's trades executed on the call side. The stock is currently up more than 16% at $3.37, after the company announced plans to sell its prostate cancer vaccine Provenge in Europe. The biotech firm also announced fourth-quarter earnings results.

  3. The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange stands at 0.32. Declining stocks are currently outpacing advancing names by a margin of roughly 3-to-1.

  4. A notable decliner on the Big Board today is Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS), which is currently off 6.9% at $77.77. The company issued earnings and revenue guidance for the current quarter that was well below analysts' estimates. Nu Skin also lifted its quarterly cash dividend by 15% to 34.5 cents per share.

  5. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has popped higher amid today's broad selling pressure. The "fear gauge" is currently up 2.4 points, or 17.1%, at 16.39. The last time the VIX closed above 16 was on Feb. 6.

  6. Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.76, with call volume outpacing put volume. The ETN has gained 6.6% today to $46.77.

View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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