The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pointed north ahead of the bell, with the blue-chip barometer looking to extend yesterday's modest gains. "Thursday was another inside day for the S&P 500 Index (SPX), with traders awaiting today's November employment report," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa. "Although it was in inside day, markets still finished strong and near the highs of the day. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed up nearly 1.6%, which helped the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) recover most of the losses from Wednesday." However, this morning's jobs data showed payrolls grew by 146,000 in November, beating analysts' estimates for a slimmer rise of 80,000, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to a better-than-expected 7.7%.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are 25 points above fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 875,270 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 589,825 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.68.
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The main event in today's session will be the nonfarm payrolls report. However, the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index and the Fed's consumer credit data are also slated for release. There are no earnings reports of note.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
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