The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pointed decidedly lower ahead of the bell, after data showed economic activity in the euro zone contracted by a wider-than-expected margin in the fourth quarter.
On the home front, "We saw mixed markets yesterday, as Nasdaq stocks were the leaders, while retailing names saw some profit taking following an in-line January retail sales number," observed Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "One major piece of economic news today is the weekly jobless claims number, due at 8:30 a.m. ET."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are nearly 63 points below fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,009,034 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 657,978 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio advanced to 0.65, while the 21-day moving average edged lower to 0.64.
From the Trading Floor
"Earnings season is tapering off, but markets will still get to react to some big reports that happened last night," Venosa remarked. "Visiting the earnings confessional after the close were Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM), and NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP)."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's economic docket will feature weekly jobless claims. Wall Street can expect earnings reports from General Motors (GM), PepsiCo (PEP), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Barrick Gold (ABX), CBS Corporation (CBS), DIRECTV (DTV), Molson Coors Brewing (TAP), Waste Management (WM), Vulcan Materials (VMC), and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW).
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