The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is sticking close to the flatline in pre-market trading, as investors cautiously await this morning's round of economic and earnings reports. Trade figures and wholesale inventories are on today's docket, as well as quarterly reports from the likes of AOL (NYSE:AOL) and Moody's (NYSE:MCO). However, the day's chatter will most likely revolve around the blizzard -- dubbed Nemo -- that's barreling toward the Northeast, and the economic impact the extreme weather circumstance will have on the region.
Meanwhile, "The 1,500 level continues to be the area everyone is watching for the S&P 500 Index (SPX)," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Since last Friday, every rally and pullback attempt has failed, and we keep landing right back there." As for the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), Sapp is "watching the 14 level closely. The break below it at the beginning of the year signaled the sharp rally in January, and a rally back above it could be a sign to exercise some caution."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are roughly two points above fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 806,486 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 534,829 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio jumped to 0.66, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.65.
From the Trading Floor
"The new National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) and American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) surveys came in yesterday, and they both showed a pullback in bullishness after making extreme highs last week," Sapp observed. "It seems that even bulls are scared/reactionary as we sit at five-year highs."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
We'll round out the week with the latest trade balance figures, as well as wholesale inventories for December. Meanwhile, Wall Street will digest earnings results from American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL), AOL, CBOE Holdings (CBOE), and MCO.
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