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Index, ETF option volumes near midday

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Total option volume has picked up significantly with 6.7 million contracts changing hands already today, and hedging appears to dominate the activity in major indexes and ETFs, according to optionMONSTER data systems.

More than 1.5 million SPDR S&P 500 Fund (:SPY) options trade, with 1.1 million puts. The iShares Russell 2000 Fund (:IWM) options are next with 406,000 and a put/call ratio of 3 to 1. Just behind are the S&P 500 Index (:SPX) options at 370,000, led by 230,000 puts.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) has 221,000 contracts changing hands, 133,000 of which are puts. The CBOE Volatility Index (:VIX) has seen 210,000 options turn over, with 148,000 calls. Following are the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) options at 156,000, with 97,000 calls.

More than 122,000 options have traded in the iShares Emerging Markets Fund (EEM), with 86,000 puts. The SPDR Financial Fund (XLF) has 75,000 options traded, with 57,000 puts.

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