The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is pointed higher, as traders brush off weak economic data out of China and turn to today's round of domestic data points. Specifically, retail sales, weekly jobless claims, business inventories, and import and export prices are all on tap, following three sessions that had a relatively bare economic calendar. Additionally, the Federal Reserve should be in focus, with a trio of nominees headed to the Hill for weather-delayed confirmation hearings.
Meanwhile, "The S&P 500 Index (SPX) moved strongly off the morning lows of 1,854 yesterday, so I will continue to watch that area for support going forward," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Bulls should be encouraged that the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) found some support near 1,180 on Wednesday, and rallied to its highs of the day into the close."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are nearly 23 points above breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 949,706 call contracts traded on Wednesday -- the fewest since Dec. 26 -- compared to 672,270 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio surged to 0.71, while the 21-day moving average edged higher to 0.58.
From the Trading Floor
"The new Investors Intelligence poll surfaced yesterday, and it showed a pretty big spike in bearish advisors," noted Sapp. "In fact, the 17.4% reading matches the highest level of bears seen this year. What makes this interesting is that the correction from recent highs has been very minor, yet bearishness is growing at a rapid pace. This is a bullish contrarian signal, in my opinion."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The latest reports on jobless claims, retail sales, business inventories, and import and export prices are scheduled for today. Furthermore, Aeropostale (ARO), Dollar General (DG), Gogo (GOGO), SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS), and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA) will step into the earnings confessional.
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