Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Fights to Stay North of Breakeven

SCSS nosedives despite strong earnings results

by 10/18/2012 11:49 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,567.42) is up 10 points, or 0.1%, as a pair of positive earnings reports from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) have slightly tempered some downbeat unemployment data. According to the Labor Department, weekly jobless claims increased to 388,000 last week, disappointing analysts who had projected a rise to just 365,000. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.93) is 0.1 point, or 0.9%, lower.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.75, with 3.5 million calls exchanged so far today, versus 2.6 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-skewed activity is eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY - 50.30), which has added around 4.4% today after reporting quarterly earnings that topped consensus estimates. The news also triggered a slew of price-target hikes this morning. Currently, calls make up 74.1% of the stock's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 32.91) sits at 0.81, with calls outweighing puts.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.66, indicating the number of downward movers is overshadowing the advancers.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Select Comfort Corp. (NASDAQ:SCSS - 29.66), which has shed more than 8% in intraday action, despite revealing stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings after yesterday's close. Instead, investors are focusing on the company's sequential slowdown in volume growth from the two previous quarters.

  6. Optimism declined during the week ended Oct. 17, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks dropped to 28.7% from 30.6%, while the percentage bearish jumped to 44.5% from 38.8%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral fell to 26.8% from 30.6%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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