Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Despite a lack of notable economic reports on today's docket, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,187.00) is up 32 points, or 0.2%, as hopes for progress regarding the ongoing fiscal-cliff negotiations in Washington have slightly overshadowed news of political turmoil within the euro zone. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.16) is 0.3 point, or 1.6%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 0.81, with 2.7 million calls changing hands so far today, versus 2.2 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with heavy call activity is Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN - 1.34), which has jumped more than 26% today, after the company reported positive clinical trial results of its imetelstat drug for the treatment of essential thrombocythemia (ET). Currently, calls account for 84.1% of the biotech firm's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 29.73) checks in at 1.00, with calls equaling puts.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.37, with the number of upward movers outnumbering the decliners.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN - 75.95), which has tacked on almost 3% in intraday trading, after the stock was upgraded to "neutral" from "underperform" at Sterne Agee ahead of the open.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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