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Index, ETF option volumes near midday

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Total option volume is again strong today as 10 million contracts have changed hands so far, with relatively bearish sentiment in the major indexes and ETFs, according to optionMONSTER data systems.

More than 1.7 million options have turned over in the SPDR S&P 500 Fund (:SPY), led by 1.1 million puts. Next up are the S&P 500 Index (:SPX) contracts at 451,000, with a put/call ratio of 2 to 1. Following closely are the iShares Russell 2000 Fund (:IWM) options at 402,000, with puts outnumbering calls by 3 to 1.

The iShares Emerging Markets Fund (EEM) again sees heavy volume with 320,000 options, 205,000 of which are puts. The PowerShares QQQ Trust (:QQQ) has 302,000 contracts changing hands, with 176,000 puts.

The iPath S&P 500 Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) has 235,000 options traded, with 121,000 puts. It again outpaces the CBOE Volatility Index (:VIX), which has 221,000 contracts moving as puts slightly outpace calls.

The SPDR Gold Fund (GLD) has 106,000 options traded, evenly split between calls and puts. And the SPDR Financial Fund (XLF) has volume of 90,000 contracts, also evenly split.

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