Real-Time Market Insights
Hot Stock News for Options Traders

Dow Jones Industrial Average Headed Higher; Earnings, Ukraine in Focus

Gold stocks pressured China's Shanghai Composite lower

by 4/21/2014 8:08:01 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is poised to continue with last week's upward momentum, with futures pointed slightly higher ahead of the bell. "After a rough start last week, markets got their act together and moved northward -- closing near the highs for the week on Thursday," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Unfortunately, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) fell a little short of the prior week's peak. The star sector was energy, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR (ETF) (XLE) advancing nearly 5%."

Looking ahead, "This week will continue to be volatile and filled with catalysts as earnings season rolls on in earnest," noted Venosa. "Additionally, keep an eye on homebuilders, as existing and new home sales will be released on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively." Meanwhile, geopolitical conflict overseas will remain on traders' radar, after a deadly attack erupted in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- 5 Reasons to Dodge Directional Risk: Increase the odds of a winning trade. All other things being equal, a straddle is more likely to end up a winner than an at-the-money call or put -- the strategy boasts a 42% win rate, compared to roughly 34% for a directional play.

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 more than 34 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,461,005 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 838,080 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.57, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.59.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is unchanged at last check, with the currency trading at 79.86.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil is on pace to pare a portion of last week's modest advance, with futures down 0.2% at $103.17 per barrel.
  • Gold futures are pointed south, as well, with the commodity 0.6% lower at $1,286.10 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators will hit the Street today. Netflix (NFLX), Halliburton (HAL), Hasbro (HAS), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), and SunTrust Banks (STI) will report earnings.

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