The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has reversed its earlier course higher, and is now sitting modestly below breakeven ahead of the bell. Big-cap earnings and domestic economic data will be in the foreground today, with traders cautiously waiting to digest the latest employment and manufacturing reports scheduled for release.
Elsewhere, "The Investors Intelligence (II) that came out on Wednesday was interesting, in that it was the lowest percentage bulls since June," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Couple that with the fact that we're finally seeing a bit of a spike in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), and we could be nearing a tradable bottom. However, given what's happened recently, I'd expect any bounce to be sold until something major happens, i.e. a "fiscal cliff" resolution, a European bailout, etc."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are nearly nine points below fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 919,321 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 719,246 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio improved to 0.78, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.73.
From the Trading Floor
"The 1,360 level on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has been breached," continued Sapp. "It appears that 1,340 is now the next level of support."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The economic calendar is loaded with updates today, including the consumer price index (CPI), weekly jobless claims, the Empire State manufacturing index, the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index, and the holiday-delayed weekly crude inventories report. Meanwhile, Applied Materials (AMAT), Aruba Networks (ARUN), Autodesk (ADSK), Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE), Dell (DELL), Dollar Tree (DLTR), GameStop (GME), Gap (GPS), Intuit (INTU), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Ross Stores (ROST), Sears Holdings (SHLD), Sina Corp (SINA), Target (TGT), The Buckle (BKE), Viacom (VIAB), and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) will step into the earnings spotlight.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
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