Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Down 49 Points Before Christmas Holiday

Fiscal-cliff worries hang over an abbreviated trading session

by 12/24/2012 11:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

In a shortened and relatively light trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,141.45) is down 49 points, or 0.4%, as investors continue to fret over whether Washington can strike a deal ahead of the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.61) is 0.8 points, or 4.3%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.77, with 2.0 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 1.6 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-skewed activity -- despite falling around 1.2% -- is Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX - 5.75). Currently, calls represent 60.3% of the medical device manufacturer's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 32.19) checks in at 0.49, with calls more than doubling puts.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.62, with the number of downward movers easily outstripping the advancers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF - 25.60), which has declined about 6% -- and tagged a new multi-year low of $24.24 -- in intraday trading. The health-products supplier said it will repurchase more than $50 million worth of its shares in the coming quarters. Those shares will come much cheaper to the company now -- HLF has plunged almost 40% since last Tuesday, after fund manager William Ackman began heavily shorting the stock and accusing the company of "pyramid scheme" conduct.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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