Opening View
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is ready to continue its recent descent, with futures pointed lower ahead of the bell. Investors are awaiting the latest retail sales data and weekly jobless claims, both slated for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Additionally, Wall Street will be keeping a close eye on Washington, as members of Congress debate the budget deal. Amid these economic developments, fears that the Federal Reserve will announce a tightening of the purse strings at next week's policy-setting meeting have moved front and center.

Meanwhile, "The S&P 500 Index (SPX) broke the 1,800 level we've been watching, making the next area of support between 1,770 and 1,780," explained Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Elsewhere, the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) continues to lead the weakness, and is sitting right above the 1,100 mark, which is near its 50-day moving average. I'd be very cautious with stocks, should a significant break to the downside occur."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are more than 23 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 988,384 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 609,726 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio jumped to 0.62, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.57.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Bullish sentiment continues to grow, despite the very weak price action we've seen this week," noted Sapp. "The Investors Intelligence poll that was released yesterday actually showed the highest percentage of bulls since December 2010, and the lowest number of bears since March 1987. This is worrisome to me, as this extreme sentiment is being met with negative price action."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S dollar index is up a slight 0.03% ahead of the bell, with the currency lingering near 79.92.
  • Crude oil, meanwhile, is pointed 0.2% higher, with the front-month contract last seen near $97.95 per barrel.
  • Tapering fears have gold futures bracing for a 1.8% drop in pre-market trading, with the February-dated contract hovering around $1,235.10 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Weekly jobless claims, retail sales figures, import and export prices, and business inventories are listed on today's lineup. Telling all in the earnings confessional are Adobe Systems (ADBE), Ciena (CIEN), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), and Quiksilver (ZQK).

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