Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is staring at triple-digit losses at midday, as the geopolitical conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalates. The overseas news has overshadowed the final April reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which finished above economists' consensus estimate at its highest reading in nine months. At last check, the Dow was 116.9 points, or 0.7%, lower at 16,384.74.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 1.10, with puts slightly outpacing calls. Currently, 3.72 million calls are on the tape, compared to 4.13 million puts.
- Among the equities with notable put volume is Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), despite bucking the broad-market trend lower on post-earnings price-target hikes at Clarkson Capital and Jefferies. At last check, the coal concern was up 1.6% at $18.13, and nearly 61% of its options volume has changed hands on the put side.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.20, with decliners outpacing gainers by a count of about 5-to-1.
- One of the Nasdaq's big losers at midday is in-flight wireless provider Gogo Inc (NASDAQ:GOGO), which has shed 5.3% to trade at $18.30.
- In the latest American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) poll, the percentage of bulls rebounded from an annual low last week, gaining 7.3 percentage points to finish at 34.5%. The percentage of neutral investors also rose, to 39.5% from 38.5%, while the percentage of bears tumbled to 26.0% from 34.3%.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.9 point, or nearly 7%, to 14.25, as investor fears escalate. The VIX hasn't closed above 14.50 since April 15.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- 1% higher at $41.97 -- is 1.01, with call and puts trading near parity.
View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).