Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,936.84) has been churning on both sides breakeven on the final day of trading in 2012. The blue-chip barometer was last seen around 1.3 point, or 0.01%, lower, as U.S. lawmakers scramble to reach a last-minute budget deal. The Senate is headed back to the roundtable around 11:00 a.m. ET, with the clock ticking closer and closer to tonight's fiscal-cliff deadline. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 20.67) has shed 2.1 points, or 9%.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges stands at 1.10, with 2.5 million calls changing hands so far today, compared to 2.8 million puts.
- Despite shedding more than 3% today, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:WPI - 86.00) is seeing heavy call activity. The day's dreary price action comes on the heels of Friday's announcement that the pharma firm will seek approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its generic version of Velcade, a drug used to treat multiple myeloma. The maker of Velcade -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. -- filed a lawsuit last week that could prevent WPI from selling its generic version until certain U.S. patents expire. Calls currently make up 94.1% of WPI's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 34.98) sits at 3.15, with puts more than tripling calls.
- The advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq arrives at 1.83. In other words, for every one stock falling in today's session, there are nearly two equities rising.
- Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS – 28.30) is among the Nasdaq's major advancers, with the stock up around 5.6% at last check. An article in Barron's over the weekend waxed optimistic on the stock, and claimed CRUS offers investors exposure to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) "at an even lower price." The equity is now poised to finish 2012 with a roughly 80% gain.