Following yesterday's strong reaction in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) to the Federal Reserve's interest-rate outlook, futures are pointed modestly lower ahead of today's opening bell. All eyes will now turn to today's series of economic reports, including weekly jobless claims, last month's import and export prices, and the U.S. Treasury budget for March. Additionally, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will take the podium in D.C. at 11:50 a.m. ET.
"The strong bounce in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continued yesterday, and the lows from earlier this week near 1,840 appear to be key support for now," noted Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Overhead, 1,875 and 1,900 are the critical resistance levels to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, small-caps have led over the past two days -- which is a positive sign -- but bulls want to see the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) break and hold above the 1,160 mark."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are about 17 points below breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,215,530 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 551,511 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.45, while the 21-day moving average dipped to 0.58.
From the Trading Floor
"The new Investors Intelligence poll came out yesterday, and the number of bears this week is exactly the same as last week," said Sapp. "Market participants continue to point to momentum stocks selling off as an indication of a bear market in the works, but those equities have led over the past few days. Whether or not this trend persists will likely be the determinant of overall sentiment going forward."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's docket of economic reports contains weekly jobless claims and last month's import and export prices, as well as the U.S. Treasury budget for March. Family Dollar Stores (FDO), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Rite Aid (RAD), and Titan Machinery (TITN) are scheduled to report quarterly earnings.
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