Stocks quoted in this article:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 1.37, with the number of upward movers outnumbering the decliners.
- 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.