Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.61, with the number of downward movers comfortably outpacing the advancers.

  5. 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.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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