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Index, ETF option volumes near midday

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Puts again lead the way in equity indexes and exchange-traded funds as total option volume is 5.6 million contracts so far today, according to optionMONSTER's data systems.

The SPDR S&P 500 Fund (NYSEArca:SPY) has seen 800,000 options trade, 501,000 of them puts. The iShares Emerging Markets Fund (NYSEArca:EEM) contracts have changed hands 232,000 times, and 209,000 of those are puts. Just behind are the iShares Russell 2000 Fund (NYSEArca:IWM) options at 209,000, with puts outpacing calls by more than 2 to 1.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (NasdaqGM:QQQ) has traded 213,000 options, including 124,000 puts. The S&P 500 Index (NasdaqGS:SPX) options have turned over 150,000 times, also with a put/call ratio of 2 to 1. Not far behind is the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) with 132,000 options, with slightly more puts than calls.
The VIX is based on the SPX options, and the VIX futures are based on the VIX itself. And the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (NYSEArca:VXX) is based on those VIX futures. The VXX options have trade 119,000 times, with calls slightly outnumbering puts.

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