Opening View

Dow Jones Industrial Average Sinks as Failed Budget Talks Spook Wall Street

Oil is pointed sharply lower, while the dollar eyes gains

by 12/21/2012 8:19:51 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is bracing for a triple-digit drop right out of the gate, after John Boehner, R-Ohio, failed to garner enough votes to pass his "Plan B" tax plan. The House Speaker is slated to hold a press conference today at 10:00 a.m. EST.

With uncertainty swirling, Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp has a few technical levels he's watching. "On the S&P 500 Index (SPX), I'm continuing to keep an eye on 1,425 to the downside. It looks like 1,450 could have some resistance, along with 1,460 and 1,475 overhead. Equally important is the $500-$550 range on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average nearly 138 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 879,313 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 566,642 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio remained at 0.64, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.63.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"The new American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) and National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) sentiment reports continue to show extreme optimism," noted Sapp. "The AAII report today had the highest percentage bulls and lowest percentage bears since February. Even though there is a great deal of optimism, markets will actually need some reason to sell off."

Sapp continued, "In my opinion, much of the potential bad news associated with the fiscal cliff has already been priced in, and short interest on stocks remains elevated. Bears will need some sort of shock to get the ball rolling."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index has charged 0.2% higher ahead of the bell as investors seek safety in the currency. At last check, the greenback was hovering near $79.40.
  • Crude oil is looking to erase Thursday's gains and then some, with the commodity 1% lower at $89.24 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are up 0.2% to trade at $1,648.40 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The week winds down on a relatively quiet note, with the latest personal income and outlays report, the December Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, and quarterly results from Walgreen (WAG).

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