Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,276.76) -- which tagged a record high of 14,286.37 earlier in the session -- is up 149 points, or 1.1%, thanks to an encouraging economic report. Specifically, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index climbed to a better-than-expected 56.0 in February.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX - 13.31) is 0.7 point, or 5%, lower. The "fear gauge" is on pace to close a second consecutive session below its 20-day moving average, which had previously served as support.

  2. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.94, with 4.0 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 3.7 million puts.

  3. Among the equities with heavy call activity is Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR - 20.20), which has tacked on about 0.4% since the opening bell. Currently, calls make up 90.9% of the network infrastructure provider's intraday option volume.

  4. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 22.27) checks in at 0.88, with calls outstripping puts.

  5. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.81, with the number of upward movers almost tripling the decliners.

  6. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD - 46.94), which has gained more than 6% in intraday trading. A regulatory filing revealed that Edward Lampert, the company's CEO, purchased 1.2 million of SHLD's shares for $44.36 each yesterday.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday


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