Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Emerging Market Fears Pressure Dow Jones Industrial Average

Thermo Fisher Scientific reports earnings beat, but Mattel disappoints

by 1/31/2014 12:14 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has shed 91.5 points, or 0.6%, to 15,757.13, on continued concerns surrounding emerging markets. In economic news, personal spending in December outpaced the consensus forecast, while personal income fell short of estimates, and the fourth-quarter employment cost index rose slightly more than expected. Elsewhere, consumer sentiment arrived in line with economists' projections, while factory activity in the Chicago region declined for a third straight month. Lastly, as we wind down the final session of January, it's worth noting that no traditional indices are trading higher in 2014.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges checks in at 0.87, with calls outpacing puts. At last check, 4.58 million calls had crossed the tape, versus 4.01 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with notable call volume is Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), which is up slightly to trade at $115.15, after announcing a fourth-quarter earnings beat yesterday afternoon, and receiving price-target hikes this morning from Cantor Fitzgerald (to $136 from $128), Mizuho Financial (to $140 from $130), and Leerink Swann (to $130 from $107). At last check, 98.4% of TMO's options volume had changed hands on the call side.

  3. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.35, with declining equities nearly tripling advancers.

  4. One of the Nasdaq's noteworthy losers today is Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), which has shed 9.6% to $38.91, after reporting worse-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and sales figures earlier.

  5. In the latest American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) survey, the proportion of bears picked up 9 percentage points during the last week to register at 32.8%, while the percentage of bulls dropped by nearly 6 percentage points to 32.2%. This is the first time since last August that bears have outnumbered bulls in this survey. In addition, the percentage of neutral investors dipped to 35.1% from 38.1%.

  6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 0.01 point, or 0.1%, higher at 17.30. In early trading, the market's "fear gauge" also matched Monday's high of 18.99, which hasn't been topped since last October.

  7. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- trading at $47.72 -- registers at 1.25, with put volume outweighing call volume by a 5-to-4 margin.

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

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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