Traders continue to maintain a cautious stance ahead of today's nonfarm payrolls number, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) sitting slightly above breakeven. However, as Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, notes, "This morning is the much-awaited April employment number, which should have an impact on today's trading." The data -- often seen as a key metric to gauging the strength of the economy -- will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect the U.S. to have added 215,000 jobs last month, and for the unemployment rate to dip 0.1 percentage point to 6.6%. Also on the economic radar are factory orders, due at 10 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, on the charts, Venosa says, "Continue to watch the $189 level on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), as call open interest outnumbers put open interest by a 4-to-1 margin in the weekly series, which expires at tonight's close. This may act as a roadblock in today's action."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are sitting 3 points above breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,192,726 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 668,824 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.56, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.60.
From the Trading Floor
"Volatility ebbed on Thursday, as indexes saw some slight divergence from one another," said Venosa. "The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished up nearly 0.3%, as momentum names came back into play. Conversely, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) closed with a slight loss."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Closing out the week's docket of economic updates are the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report for April, as well as March factory orders. Chevron (CVX), Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB), CVS Caremark (CVS), Estee Lauder (EL), and Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) will report earnings.
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