Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips 31 Points

A weak fourth-quarter outlook pushes KSS lower

by 11/8/2012 11:53 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,901.72) is down 31 points, or 0.2%, despite a round of upbeat economic reports. Specifically, weekly jobless claims declined by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, surpassing analysts' expectations for a drop to just 370,000. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department revealed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, reflecting a 5.1% decrease from August's downwardly revised figure of $43.5 billion. This latest number -- which bested Wall Street's forecast of $45.1 billion -- marked the lowest level in almost two years, thanks to a 3.1% rise in exports. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.21) is 0.9 point, or 4.6%, lower.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.96, with 3.0 million calls crossing the tape so far today, compared to 2.9 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-heavy activity is Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB - 50.24), despite edging 0.1% lower today. Currently, calls account for 99.5% of the entertainment company's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 36.73) sits at 0.41, with calls more than doubling puts.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.73, with the number of downward movers outpacing the advancers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS - 51.90), which has shed around 4.5% in intraday trading after issuing a weaker-than-anticipated current-quarter guidance this morning.

  6. Optimism rose during the week ended Nov. 7, according to the latest survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). The percentage of investors with a bullish view on stocks increased to 38.5% from 35.7%, while the percentage bearish dipped to 39.9% from 41.0%. Meanwhile, the percentage neutral fell to 21.6% from 23.3%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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