After three straight days of closing at a record peak, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is positioned modestly lower this morning. As Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, notes, "This week is relatively bare from an earnings standpoint. On the economic side, we do have jobless claims and retail sales on Thursday." In today's session, meanwhile, traders will have the chance to digest a pair of upbeat data points from overseas; specifically, China's retail inflation grew at a faster-than-forecast rate, while producer prices fell by a wider-than-expected margin. Stateside, updates on job openings and small-business optimism are due.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are more than 25 points below breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,128,969 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 536,838 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio edged up to 0.48, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.59.
From the Trading Floor
"Small-cap stocks continued their recent outperformance yesterday, with the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) closing up 0.9%, versus a slimmer 0.1% for the S&P 500 Index (SPX)," said Venosa. "Big gains from regional banking shares contributed to the small-cap performance. Interestingly enough, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose nearly 4% after closing below 11 on Friday."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small-business optimism index are due out today. RadioShack (RSH), The Pep Boys (PBY), Burlington Stores (BURL), Christopher & Banks (CBK), Francesca's (FRAN), Ulta Salon (ULTA), and United Natural Foods (UNFI) will step up to the earnings plate as well.
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