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Dow Jones Industrial Average Flirts With Positive Year-to-Date Territory

China lays out a stimulus plan; ECB leaves interest rates unchanged

by 4/3/2014 8:18:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"The venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) moved into positive territory on a year-to-date (YTD) basis for the first time this year during yesterday's session, but closed just shy of the 16,576.66 mark," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Basic materials and industrials were the leading sectors of the day, as Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) closed nearly 3% higher, after hitting a new 52-week peak in intraday trading." The DJI's YTD level will once again be in focus, with futures pointed modestly higher ahead of the bell.

Traders will have a lot of economic data points to digest in today's session, including international trade data and the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index. Additionally, ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report, weekly jobless claims are due. On the charts, Venosa says to "Keep an eye on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) $190 level, as peak call open interest here could act as a magnet in the near term."

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DON'T short-change yourself on time. Compared to a front-month contract, an option with six months of shelf life offers more time for the shares to move as you expect. This extra time provides you a little breathing room to allow the predicted price move to play out.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are 16 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,034,225 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 532,460 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.51, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.60.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up 0.1% ahead of the bell, with the currency hovering around 80.31.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil is down 0.4%, amid reports that Libyan rebels are preparing to reopen oil ports. At last check, crude for May delivery was churning near $99.20 per barrel.
  • Gold is scaling back from yesterday's modest rise, with futures on the front-month contract 0.6% lower at $1,282.80 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Economic reports slated for today include international trade data, weekly jobless claims, and the ISM non-manufacturing index. Micron Technology (MU), Perry Ellis International (PERY), and Schnitzer Steel (SCHN) will step into the earnings confessional.

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