Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,914.96) is down 95 points, or 0.7%, as concerns regarding the euro zone and the looming fiscal cliff reclaim the spotlight on Wall Street. Meanwhile, the Chicago Fed reported that its National Activity Index arrived at -0.56 last month, down from September's flat reading of zero. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.83) is 0.7 point, or 4.6%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges sits at 0.88, with 2.9 million calls exchanged so far today, versus 2.6 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG - 2.75), which has jumped more than 10% today. The investment firm was upgraded to "market perform" from "underperform" at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods this morning, amid rumors that KCG is in talks to sell its market-making operation. Currently, calls account for 90.6% of the stock's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 30.31) -- which tagged a new record low of $29.73 earlier in the session -- stands at 0.98, with calls slightly outpacing puts.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.44, with the number of downward movers more than doubling the advancers.
- Among the NYSE's major decliners is Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO - 13.44), which has shed about 7% in intraday action, after receiving some downbeat analyst attention ahead of the opening bell.