Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Dow Jones Industrial Average Lower Ahead of Budget Talks

Lackluster seasonal sales data weighs on M shares

by 12/26/2012 11:54 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,096.32) is down 43 points, or 0.3%, as Democrats and Republicans prepare to go back to the fiscal-cliff drawing board on Thursday, after an abbreviated Christmas break. Meanwhile, although the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index slipped a non-seasonally adjusted 0.1% in October, it notched a year-over-year gain of 4.3% -- besting economists' forecast for an increase of just 4.1%. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 19.55) is 1 point, or 5.2%, higher.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges checks in at 0.89, with 2.3 million calls exchanged so far today, versus 2.0 million puts.

  2. Among the equities with heavy call activity is Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD - 1.41), which has trekked about 8% higher despite a lack of notable news drivers. Currently, calls represent 96.3% of the drugstore chain's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 33.61) sits at 2.90, with puts almost tripling calls.

  4. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.55, with the number of downward movers easily outpacing the advancers.

  5. Among the NYSE's major decliners is Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M - 36.41), which has declined almost 3% in intraday action, after preliminary data reflected weak holiday sales within the retail sector.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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