Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,926.95) is down 316 points, or 2.4%, as investors digest yesterday's presidential election results, while refocusing their attention on the rapidly approaching "fiscal cliff." Meanwhile, U.S. markets are feeling the sting of comments made by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who warned that weakness in the euro zone is starting to affect Germany, the largest economy in the region. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.91) is 1.3 points, or 7.6%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges checks in at 1.04, with 4.4 million puts changing hands so far today, versus 4.2 million calls.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA - 34.74), which has tacked on about 1.7% today after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, and raising its full-year outlook. Currently, calls make up 62.6% of the home beverage maker's intraday option volume. On the put side, NII Holdings, Inc. (NIHD – 6.34) is seeing 75.2% of its intraday option volume trading on the put side. The stock is off more than 10% today after the Nextel Communications holding company announced disappointing third-quarter results.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 37.27) stands at 1.57, with puts comfortably outnumbering calls.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.14, with the number of downward movers easily outstripping the advancers by a margin of more than seven to one.
- Among the NYSE's major decliners is Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI - 7.62), which has shed around 12% in intraday action after President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in Tuesday's election. The results have weighed heavily on the coal sector as a whole today, as Romney had portrayed himself as an industry supporter.
- Ahead of today's decidedly bearish backdrop, bullish sentiment increased last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks rose to 43.6% from 41.5%, while the percentage bearish remained flat at 27.7%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction fell to 28.7% from 30.8%.