The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is sticking close to the flatline ahead of the bell, as investors wait to digest the latest central bank comments from across the pond. Although the Bank of England (BOE) held steady on its current monetary policy, expectations are high that European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi will hint at future rate cuts during this morning's press conference.
Meanwhile, with the S&P 500 Index's (SPX) modest move higher yesterday, Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp continues to keep his eye on, "1,550 to the upside, and 1,525 to the downside. These levels are likely to remain in place until traders can react to Friday's jobs number."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are sitting roughly two points north of fair value.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,052,419 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 564,012 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.54, while the 21-day moving average dipped to 0.64.
From the Trading Floor
"There were a few interesting things that happened yesterday," noted Sapp. "The new Investors Intelligence poll came out, and showed the lowest bullish reading since December. This, as we make new all-time highs. It just doesn't add up." He continued, "Also, I've been mentioning the recent bond strength, and how equities would struggle until they sold off. Well, the iShares Barclays 20-Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) got rocked on Wednesday, with stocks up only modestly. These two things could signal the next leg higher."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's economic docket will feature weekly jobless claims, the trade balance, and revised estimates for fourth-quarter productivity and unit labor costs data. Wall Street can expect earnings reports from Pandora Media (P), Ciena (CIEN), The Kroger Co. (KR), Finisar (FNSR), Skullcandy (SKUL), H&R Block (HRB), Medifast (MED), James River Coal (JRCC), and Sequenom (SQNM).
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