Stocks quoted in this article:
On the heels of last week's rally -- courtesy of a last-minute fiscal-cliff deal -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,358.03) is down 77 points, or 0.6%, as investors await tomorrow's unofficial kickoff of earnings season. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.15) is 0.3 point, or 2.3%, higher.
Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges sits at 0.74, with 3.4 million calls crossing the tape so far today, compared to 2.5 million puts.
- Among the equities with heavy call activity is Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE:ALU - 1.70), which has trekked about 3.7% higher during the course of the session. Currently, calls make up 98.4% of the telecom issue's intraday option volume.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 27.89) stands at 1.85, with puts almost doubling calls.
- The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.61, with the number of downward movers comfortably outpacing the advancers.
- Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN - 51.44), which has dropped around 6% in intraday action after Roche Chairman Franz Humer said the Swiss drug manufacturer has no plans to acquire the biotech firm.