Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,981.62) is up 16 points, or 0.1%, as an empty economic docket has redirected Wall Street's focus back to fiscal-cliff negotiations in D.C. President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue in an interview scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.91) is 0.3 point, or 1.6%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges checks in at 1.10, with 3.1 million puts crossing the tape so far today, versus 2.8 million calls.
- Among the equities with put-skewed activity is New Oriental Education & Tech Group (ADR) (NYSE:EDU – 19.31), which had declined about 4.6% today, despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, puts make up 73.3% 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 - 30.60) sits at 0.78, with calls outpacing puts.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.69, with the number of downward movers easily outstripping the advancers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI - 43.16), which has shed around 8.5% in intraday trading, after dispelling rumors that it plans to make a bid for Cupid, a U.K.-based online dating company. Meanwhile, the stock received some bearish analyst attention at Goldman Sachs this morning, who cited increasing competition in the search business as the catalyst for the downgrade.