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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is looking to break its two-day losing streak, with futures on the blue-chip barometer eying modest gains ahead of the bell. Traders are taking a cautiously optimistic stance to the day, after earnings bellwether Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) posted strong quarterly results, and boosted its aluminum-production outlook for 2013.

Meanwhile, "The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) was really interesting yesterday," observed Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Given that we're near the bottom of the yearly range, you'd expect the selloff in the broad markets over the past two days to spark a spike in volatility. However, the VIX has remained flat. This is definitely something to monitor going forward, as it looks like we're heading for new 52-week lows on it."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are 29 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 693,048 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 543,080 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio jumped to 0.78, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.64.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

On the technical front, "The levels I'm watching on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continue to be 1,425, 1,450, and 1,475," said Sapp. "Additionally, I have my eye on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the $500 level to the downside/$560 to the upside; also, the $900 mark on the Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL:RUT)."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index has moved 0.3% higher ahead of the bell, with the currency hovering near $80.55.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil has shed 0.2% in pre-market trading, with crude for February delivery lingering just shy of the $93-per-barrel mark.
  • Gold futures have pulled back, with the front-month contract 0.1% lower at $1,660.40 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's docket includes the usual report on weekly crude inventories and the Mortgage Bankers' Association (MBA) mortgage index. Wall Street will also hear the latest from Constellation Brands (STZ), Ruby Tuesday (RT), and VOXX International (VOXX).

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