Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Debt Drama, Fed Chatter Weigh on Dow Jones Industrial Average

Pandora Media is lower on a rival's solid sales, while call traders are targeting The Boeing Company

by 9/23/2013 12:14 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) -- which experienced a three-stock swap over the weekend -- has spent the session in the red, down 60 points, or 0.4%, at 15,391.11. Debt-ceiling drama and Fed chatter are weighing on equities, with Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart noting the economy's dwindling "mojo," and New York Fed President William Dudley calling the economy too weak to taper. On the economic front, Markit's preliminary flash purchasing managers index (PMI) suggested U.S. factory expansion fell to a three-month low in September, dropping to 52.8 from August's final reading of 53.1.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 12 options exchanges rests at 0.90, with 3.8 million calls and 3.4 million puts crossing the tape so far today.

  2. One of the names with heavy call activity today is The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). The Dow component is fractionally lower at $116.58, after Norwegian Air scheduled a meeting to discuss Dreamliner problems, and after the International Air Transport Association cut its global industry profit forecast for 2013. Still, nearly 91% of BA's intraday options activity consists of calls.

  3. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.8, with decliners outpacing advancers.

  4. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), which is down 10.6% at $24.13, thanks to a solid debut of rival Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhones and news that more than 11 million unique listeners have sampled the iTunes Radio service since it launched.

  5. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has skyrocketed 1.6 points, or 11.8%, to 14.67, and is poised to end atop its 10-day moving average for the first time since Sept. 3.

  6. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- which has added 2.2% to 14.14 -- stands at 0.52, with calls practically doubling puts.

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

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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