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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is off 134.7 points, or 0.8%, to 16,277.97 this afternoon, with credit card concern Visa Inc (NYSE:V) helping to lead the blue-chip barometer lower. The risk-off sentiment comes ahead of earnings season -- which unofficially begins after tomorrow's close when Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) reports -- as investors reduce their exposure to momentum names. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) -- after suffering its worst single-session loss since February on Friday -- is down 52.3 points, or 1.3%, at 4,075.42. Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve's consumer credit report is slated for release at 3 p.m. ET.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges currently stands at 0.98, with call volume slightly outpacing put volume. So far today, 3.88 million calls have changed hands, compared to 3.81 million puts.
- Ahead of Thursday's annual investor day, Host Hotels and Resorts Inc (NYSE:HST) is seeing call-heavy trading. At last check, the hotelier was 0.8% higher at $20.69, while 99.6% of the overall option activity has occurred on the call side.
- The advance/decline ratio on the New York Stock Exchange stands at 0.39. Declining stocks are easily outpacing advancing issues.
- One of the biggest laggards on the Big Board today is Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN), which is off 6.9% to trade at $20.13. The networking equipment provider has shed roughly 16% since last Thursday after failing to impress the brokerage bunch at its annual analyst meeting. Specifically, MKM Partners said CIEN's presentation was "underwhelming," and that the brokerage firm was "hoping for [a] more granular view on [the] company's optical offerings and data center plans." CIEN will host its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has rallied this afternoon as stocks suffer. The "fear gauge" is currently up 12% at 15.63, and is eyeing its first close north of 15 since March 24.
- Today's put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) stands at 0.92, with puts and calls trading near parity. The ETN is up 2.8% today to $43.02.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).