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Volume Finally Rears its Head

Volume rears its head, finally. The NYSE Consolidated Tape (trading in all NYSE listed stocks on all venues) rose to 4.9 billion shares yesterday, the highest level since July.

That wasn't the only action taking place. Trading activity in the options pits soared to the highest level since May 6th, according to WJB Capital Group, led by a 272 percent climb in call trading.

This orgy of call buying dropped the put/call ratio to 0.35, the lowest second-lowest level since 2003 (there are dividend capture strategies at work here as well as outright bullishness, but the point is a put/call ratio that low is often associated with at least a short-term buying climax.

Meantime, semis on the weak side today. Morgan Stanley cut Altera and Xilinx to uderweight, citing some risk of slowing orders out of Asia. Citrix had cautious comments from their CEO on their new product launch, and cloud computing provider Equinix cut its revenue targets. Micron reports tomorrow.

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