Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Lackluster earnings news is weighing on Wall Street once again, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,318.52) is down 25 points, or 0.2%. Specifically, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) topped analysts' bottom-line quarterly earnings estimates but fell short of revenue expectations. Meanwhile, the construction equipment manufacturer also lowered its full-year guidance. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 17.33) is 0.3 point, or 1.6%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges sits at 0.85, with 3.7 million calls crossing the tape so far today, versus 3.1 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-skewed activity is SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU - 2.85), which had soared about 30% today, amid escalating hopes for a potential buyout bid for the company. Currently, calls make up 58.1% of the grocery chain's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 35.07) stands at 0.83, with calls outnumbering puts.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.95, with the number of downward movers slightly outstripping the advancers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP - 65.05), which has lost about 5% in intraday trading after forecasting weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings and slashing its fiscal-year outlook. The news also sparked price-target cuts at Oppenheimer and Credit Suisse this morning.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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