The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is clinging to breakeven ahead of the bell, as investors await the latest round of economic and sentiment data. In stock news, mergers and acquisitions will once again be in focus, with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) announcing plans to buy Everest Holdings LLC, the parent company of Eddie Bauer. Elsewhere, gold futures are looking to extend their rally north of $1,300 an ounce, while traders in the eurozone are celebrating encouraging gross domestic product (GDP) figures.
"The Russell 2000 Index (RUT) took the reins yesterday, and is finally leading the market higher after lagging for most of the year," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "The index finally broke above its 50-day moving average on Thursday, and appears to be headed back to recent all-time highs. Overhead, the 1,160 level acted as resistance in January, so that's a hurdle for the RUT to overtake going forward."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are about 6 points below breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,353,117 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 768,603 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.57, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.60.
From the Trading Floor
"The recent rally has finally resulted in some bulls re-emerging in some of the sentiment polls," noted Sapp. "Yesterday's American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) report showed a significant jump in bulls. However, we're still well off the high readings of the year (and contrarily, off the low readings for the percentage of bears). It could be some time before we see all-out bullishness like we saw at the beginning of 2014 -- and if this is the case, the market will likely have more upside in it going forward."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The week will close out with import and export prices, industrial production and capacity utilization, and the preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for February. Today's earnings docket includes Campbell Soup (CPB), Hyatt Hotels (H), J.M. Smucker (SJM), and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB).
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