Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,218.90) is up 84 points, or 0.6%, boosted by optimism regarding the ongoing fiscal-cliff negotiations in Washington. Meanwhile, the New York Fed said its Empire State manufacturing index declined to negative 8.10 this month from negative 5.22 in November. Economists, on average, had projected a reading of negative 1.00. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.68) is 0.3 point, or 1.9%, lower.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges checks in at 0.51, with 5.1 million calls crossing the tape so far today, compared to 2.6 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with call-slanted activity is Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX - 68.60), which is off about 0.2% after tagging a new record high of $70.37 earlier in the session. Currently, calls represent 65.1% of the cloud computing firm's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 30.12) sits at 0.88, with calls outnumbering puts.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 2.02, with the number of upward movers more than doubling the decliners.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major advancers is VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS - 12.69), which has gained around 10.5% in intraday action amid reports that prescriptions for its weight-loss drug, Qsymia, spiked 46% on a week-over-week basis.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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