Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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While Wall Street awaits President Barack Obama's statements regarding the fiscal cliff, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,004.00) is down 18 points, or 0.1%, as investors digest a pair of mixed economic reports. Specifically, the Commerce Department revealed that consumer spending dropped by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in October due to stagnant income growth and Hurricane Sandy, marking the first decline in five months. Economists polled by Reuters had expected last month's figure to remain unchanged from September, which recorded a 0.8% rise. Meanwhile, The Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) climbed to 50.4 in November from last month's reading of 49.9, falling slightly short of economists' expectations for a reading of 50.5. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.88) is 0.8 point, or 5.4%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges checks in at 1.07, with 2.9 million puts traded so far today, versus 2.7 million calls.

  2. Among the equities with put-skewed activity is China-based Youku Tudou Inc (ADR) (NYSE:YOKU 17.86), despite gaining around 5.8% today. The company scored an earnings-induced price-target hike to $28 from $27 at Barclays ahead of the opening bell. Nevertheless, puts make up 66.5% of the stock's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 29.79) -- which tagged yet another record low of $28.83 earlier in the session -- sits at 1.00, with puts equaling calls.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.69, with the number of downward movers easily outstripping the advancers.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI - 14.95), which has shed nearly 6% in intraday action, after reporting a 50% drop in fiscal second-quarter earnings post-close yesterday.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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