Opening View
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pointed north ahead of the opening bell, looking to extend its two-day upswing that pushed the blue-chip barometer to its highest perch in two months. Wall Street will certainly be focused on the U.S. fiscal-cliff negotiations, hoping that yesterday's discussion between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, signals a deal is near. Investors will also hear housing starts data for November at 8:30 a.m. EST, as analysts expect a Hurricane Sandy-induced decline to 865,000 from last month's reading of 894,000.

Meanwhile, Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp weighed in on some broad-market technicals: "We're through 1,440 on the S&P 500 Index (SPX), so now we have 1,460 and 1,475 overhead. The 1,440 mark should now act as support, with 1,425 residing below." Sapp continued, "The S&P MidCap 400 Index (MID) bounced off 1,000 again, and that level continues to be important."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are nearly 34 points north of fair value.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,140,797 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 578,498 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.51, while the 21-day moving average slipped to 0.63.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Many of the sentiment reports (like the NAAIM, AAII, etc.) are at very bullish levels right now," observed Sapp. "However, anecdotal sentiment (based upon what I'm seeing on Twitter, CNBC, etc.) is still very bearish, and coupled with very high short interest among S&P 500 stocks. This leads me to believe the rally still has legs, despite bullish sentiment among money managers. Seasonally, November-April is typically the strongest span in the market."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is pointed 0.4% lower ahead of the bell to trade at $79.06.
  • Crude oil is looking for a fourth consecutive win today, as the front-month contract has tacked on 0.7% at $89.00 per barrel.
  • Gold futures are trading below the $1,700 mark, but the malleable metal is up 0.13% in pre-market trading to hover near $1,672.90 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Wednesday's docket brings the regularly scheduled crude inventories, the Mortgage Bankers' Association (MBA) mortgage index, and data on housing starts and building permits. Accenture (ACN), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), FedEx (FDX), General Mills (GIS), Jabil Circuit (JBL), and Paychex (PAYX) are slated to unveil their earnings reports.

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