Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Amid an empty economic slate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is down 37 points, or 0.2%, to 15,511.89, as it feels the weight of some weakness out of the tech sector. Leading the declining blue-chip components is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which is off almost 11% following the firm's poorly received quarterly earnings report.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges stands at 0.73, with 4.1 million calls exchanged so far today, compared to 3.0 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-skewed activity is General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which has gained about 4.7% -- and touched a new multi-year high of $24.95 -- since the opening bell, after the firm revealed quarterly earnings that topped analysts' projections this morning. Currently, calls account for 75.3% of the security's intraday option volume. At last check, GE was trading at $24.74.

  3. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.78, with the number of downward movers outpacing the advancers.

  4. Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), which has tumbled around 13% -- and touched a new annual low of $357.02 -- in intraday action, after posting weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and slashing its full-year revenue guidance yesterday. The results also prompted a slew of price-target cuts from Wedbush Securities, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Canaccord Genuity, and a downgrade to "market underperform" from "market perform" at JMP Securities. ISRG is presently trading at $366.80.

  5. Optimism waned lower during the week ended July 17, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks fell to 47.7% from 48.9%, while the percentage bearish rose to 21.3% from 18.3%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral dropped to 31.0% from 32.8%.

  6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is 0.6 point, or 4.6%, lower to hover at 13.14.

  7. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) -- which is currently perched at 16.33 -- checks in at 1.05, with puts outweighing calls.

View a real-time chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).

Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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