Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,890.83) is down 119 points, or 0.9%, after the Commerce Department reported a weaker-than-expected rise in factory orders for December. Specifically, orders for manufactured goods climbed 1.8% to $484.76 billion, falling short of the 2.2% rise forecast by economists. Additionally, rising political tension abroad is helping to stoke the bearish flames. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.32) is 1.4 points, or 11%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.92, with 3.2 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 2.9 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-slanted activity is Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT - 29.25), which has soared more than 22%, after Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) announced it will acquire the company for approximately $29.25 per share. Currently, calls account for 78.7% of APKT's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 24.32) checks in at 1.01, with puts slightly outstripping calls.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.28, with the number of downward movers more than tripling the advancers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Herbalife, Ltd. (NYSE:HLF - 33.47), which has shed around 4.6% in intraday action, after The New York Post reported the health-supplement guru may be under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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