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Dow Jones Industrial Average Looks North; Plus, Keep Your Eye on Volatility

European stocks rise as German investor sentiment hits a three-year high

by 2/19/2013 8:09:05 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is looking to start the week on an upbeat note, with futures on the blue-chip barometer trading slightly higher ahead of the bell. The economic calendar is light today, but investors will have the chance to digest the latest NAHB housing market index, due out at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, "As earnings season winds down, markets will turn their attention back to Washington, as the deadline for budget cuts is quickly approaching," notes Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. Meanwhile, Venosa warns to, "Be on alert for a possible expansion in volatility, as trading ranges contracted last week. The major indices are still oscillating between key round numbers, such as the Dow's 14K, and the SPX at 1,500."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are more than 10 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,233,749 call contracts traded on Friday -- the most since Oct. 19 -- compared to 732,822 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio dropped to 0.59, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.64.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is sticking close to the flatline ahead of the bell, with the currency last seen near $80.64.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil is trading lower, with the front-month contract down 0.5% at $95.93 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are pointed 0.1% higher, with the malleable metal lingering near $1,611.40 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's calendar features the NAHB housing market index. Analog Devices (ADI), BJ's Restaurants (BJRI), CF Industries (CF), Dell (DELL), Demand Media (DMD), Herbalife (HLF), Marriott International (MAR), and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) are scheduled to report earnings.

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