Blogging Options: CBOE Afternoon Update

Volatility as an asset class:
Wal-Mart (WMT) is up 73c to $73.04, a new record high. August call option implied volatility is at 14, September and December is at 13; below its 26-week average of 16.
Petrobras (PBR) is up 71c to $73.02 as diesel price increase. Overall option implied volatility of 39 is above its 26-week average of 36.
Darden (DRI) is down 14c to $50.56 following the announced acquisition of Yard House USA for $585M. Overall option implied volatility of 27 is near its 26-week average of 26.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is recently down 7.6% to $16.94 into next week’s option expiration and the start of earnings season.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX) is down 73c to record contract low of 13.41.

 U.S. equities are higher following six straight days of the market weakness, led by bank stocks.

Active options at CBOE; SPY(156k), JPM (71,300), AAPL (36k), IWM, QQQ, BAC, MSFT, INTC, VXX (25,2k) and C. As of noon, SPX trades 430k options, VIX with 229k options. SPXpm 7k traded.