Investors have returned from the holiday break in a pleasant mood, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) headed higher in pre-market trading. With the fiscal-cliff deadline looming, Congress is set to reconvene Thursday. In today's session, though, traders have a handful of housing data to digest, including the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage index and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index.
Meanwhile, among levels to watch, "The 1,420-1,425 on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is still the key," noted Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "There is the potential for gyration here, so I wouldn't get too caught up in the noise -- especially around the holidays, when volume will be light." Sapp continued, "The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) was up again on Monday, showing signs that fear is continuing to creep in. Dips should be bought, though, as long as it stays below 20."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are roughly 23 points above fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 370,957 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 239,914 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.65, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.64.
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Earnings and Economic Data
We return back from the holiday with the latest MBA mortgage index and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index in focus. There are no notable earnings scheduled for release.
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