Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,858.97) is up 34 points, or 0.2%, buoyed by stronger-than-anticipated quarterly earnings results from The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG). Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said new home sales fell by 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 369,000 in December. The latest figure disappointed economists, who were expecting a rise of 2.1%. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.87) 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 sits at 0.84, with 4.3 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 3.6 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-skewed activity is Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX - 56.62), which has climbed around 3.8%, thanks to a well-received fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Currently, calls make up 69.4% of the java giant's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.99) stands at 0.54, with calls almost doubling puts.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.09, with the number of advancers slightly outpacing the downward movers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL - 24.76), which has dropped about 3% in intraday trading. The stock was downgraded at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (to "underperform" from "neutral") and Buckingham (to "neutral" from "buy") earlier this morning.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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