The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is pointed modestly higher ahead of the bell. It will be a close call, but the blue-chip barometer will attempt to notch a fourth consecutive weekly advance. While the earnings calendar is relatively light, investors will be eyeing a pair of manufacturing reports to gauge the strength of the economy. Likewise, traders are hoping speeches from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker will provide clues as to when the central bank will begin tightening the monetary purse strings.
Elsewhere, "The leadership by small-caps waned this week, and it is a bit of a worry for the bulls," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "I'm keeping a close eye on how the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) reacts at the 1,100 level, which is near its 20-day moving average."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are more than 44 points above breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,232,305 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 699,013 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.57, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.59.
From the Trading Floor
"Yesterday's National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) number showed a huge jump in bullishness," continued Sapp. "In fact, it's the third highest reading in the history of the survey. To me, this is a sign that it's time to proceed with caution, as the bull camp seems very crowded at the moment."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Winding up this week's round of economic reports are motor vehicle sales, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index, and the final purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI). Concluding the week's lineup of earnings reports are Chevron (CVX), American Axle (AXL), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB), and Madison Square Garden (MSG).
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