It's the calm before the storm, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) sitting just below breakeven ahead of the bell. "The next two days should offer plenty of catalysts, as earnings continue to roll in," noted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Plus, heavy economic data is set to be released, including the January employment report, which is due out tomorrow morning." In today's session, traders will have the chance to chew over the weekly jobless claims, as well as the latest personal income and spending report.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are roughly 10 points below breakeven.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 825,206 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 555,135 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio dropped to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.65.
From the Trading Floor
"Wednesday saw minor across-the-board selling in all of the major indices, as fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed an unexpected contraction," continued Venosa. "Elsewhere, the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy statement was released yesterday, but showed no surprises, with the Fed continuing its purchasing program according to plan."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
It's a busy session today, with traders digesting weekly jobless claims, personal income and spending data, and the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI). Quarterly results are due out from Aetna (AET), Altria Group (MO), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), CONSOL Energy (CNX), Ctrip.com International (CTRP), MasterCard (MA), Meritage Homes (MTH), NetSuite (N), Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT), PulteGroup (PHM), Sherwin-Williams (SHW), Tellabs (TLAB), Under Armour (UA), and Whirlpool (WHR).
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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