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Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Up; All Eyes on Crimea

Japan's Nikkei shed 3.3% amid a strengthening yen

by 3/14/2014 8:10:20 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are modestly higher following Thursday's triple-digit drop. "The fear out of Russia/Ukraine caused yesterday's dramatic sell-off, and the support levels that I've been watching appear to have broken," commented Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Going forward, I would keep an eye on 1,830 for the S&P 500 Index (SPX), and 1,150 on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT)."

In today's session, investors are taking a cautious stance ahead of a weekend referendum in which Crimea will vote whether to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia. The annexation has not been endorsed by Western leaders. Although this geopolitical crisis is at the forefront of traders' minds, a handful of domestic economic reports may also garner some attention. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) and core PPI, as well as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index are all slated for release. Ahead of these events, the DJI is sitting roughly 20 points higher.

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- How to Interpret Short Interest: Look at option activity. Speculative action can offer an interesting context for short interest, adding a further dimension to your overall sentiment analysis.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are 20 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,224,166 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 846,943 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.69, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.58.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Wednesday's sell-off sparked a big spike in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which indicates demand for S&P 500 put options is soaring," said Sapp. "Typically, when we see such spikes, it can signal that the correction is coming to an end. Bulls will want to see markets perform well into the weekend, and a lack of more 'scary' news out of Eastern Europe into next week could be the catalyst that helps the uptrend continue."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.1% in pre-market trading, with the greenback lingering near 79.54.
  • Crude oil, meanwhile, is positioned for a second straight day of gains, with the front-month contract up 0.5% at $98.40 per barrel.
  • Following four consecutive sessions in the green, gold futures are sitting just above breakeven, with the commodity last seen near $1,373.10 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's economic docket includes the PPI and core PPI, as well as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index. Meanwhile, Ann Inc (ANN), Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS), and Leap Wireless (LEAP) will report earnings.

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