Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Midday Market Stats: Jobless Data Pushes Dow Jones Industrial Average into the Red

SWKS shares sink on bearish brokerage attention

by 2/21/2013 11:55 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,875.01) is down 53 points, or 0.4%, as it feels the weight of some downbeat unemployment data. Specifically, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000 last week, disappointing economists who had forecast an increase to just 350,000. Meanwhile, a separate report showed the consumer price index (CPI) remained unchanged in January, falling short of the 0.1% rise expected by economists. Also of note, the Conference Board's leading economic indicators index climbed by 0.2% last month. Economists, on average, had projected a gain of 0.3%. Concurrently, the Philadelphia Fed revealed that its manufacturing index fell to negative 12.5 in January, a stark contrast to consensus estimates for a surge to 3.0. Rounding out the bevy of economic data is existing home sales, which -- according to the National Association of Realtors -- edged 0.4% higher last month, besting economists' predictions for a decline of 1%. Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.49) is up 0.8 point, or 5.5%, and tagged a new year-to-date high of 15.77 earlier in the session.

Here are a few noteworthy stats at midday:

  1. The equity put/call volume ratio across all 11 options exchanges is docked at 1.02, with 4.2 million puts changing hands so far today, compared to 4.1 million calls.

  2. Among the equities with put-slanted activity is Polypore International, Inc. (NYSE:PPO - 35.21), which has surrendered almost 12% during the course of the session, after reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. The results also triggered a downgrade to "neutral" from "outperform" at Wedbush Securities, who also lowered its price target to $38 from $46. Currently, puts represent 72.6% of the security's intraday option volume.

  3. The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 23.52) checks in at 0.82, with calls outnumbering puts.

  4. The Nasdaq shows an advance/decline ratio of 0.52, with the number downward movers almost doubling the advancers.

  5. Among the Nasdaq's major decliners is Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:SWKS - 20.86), which has shed about 11.7% in intraday trading after being downgraded to "outperform" from "strong buy" at Raymond James this morning.

  6. Bullish sentiment declined last week, according to the latest Investors Intelligence survey. The percentage of financial advisors with a bullish view on stocks dropped to 48.4% from 52.6%, while the percentage bearish rose to 22.1% from 21.1%. Meanwhile, the percentage of advisors expecting a market correction climbed to 29.5% from 26.3%.
Unusual Option Volume at Midday

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