Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Following yesterday's observance of Presidents Day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,033.73) is up 52 points, or 0.4%, buoyed by an uptick in M&A activity. Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said its housing market index fell to 46 this month, marking its first decline in nearly a year. Economists, on average, had expected a rise to 48. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.63) is 0.2 point, or 1.4%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.74, with 3.7 million calls traded so far today, compared to 2.8 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-heavy activity is Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT - 26.78), which has tacked on almost 2% during the course of the session, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls make up 95.5% of the biopharmaceutical firm's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 21.35) -- which tagged an all-time low of 21.32 earlier this morning -- stands at 1.06, with puts slightly outnumbering calls.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.02, with the number upward movers more than doubling the decliners.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS - 14.49), which has surged nearly 12% in intraday trading, after receiving a price-target hike to $17 from $13 at Janney Capital ahead of the open. The brokerage firm said the company will likely benefit from a potential merger between OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX) and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), due to store closures and corporate restructuring.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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