Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are little changed at last check, as traders take a wait-and-see approach ahead of this morning's round of economic data. In focus are reports on fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), factory data, consumer sentiment, and pending home sales. Additionally, following Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen's congressional testimony on Thursday, a number of central bank officials are slated to take the stage today, including Fed Governor Jeremy Stein and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans.
Meanwhile, Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp is "still watching 1,850 on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the 1,180-1,185 area on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT). These round-number levels have been toppled to the upside a few times this week, but there's yet to be any sort of significant push, implying that buyers and sellers are very close on value here and now. Today is the end of the month, so perhaps fund managers adjusting their allocations could be the catalyst to 'make or break' these levels. If not today, next week is littered with economic data that could serve as a spark."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are roughly 2 points below breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,215,816 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 710,189 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.58, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.60.
From the Trading Floor
"The new National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) exposure index number was reported yesterday, and it saw a sharp spike higher," commented Sapp. "This index number is used to track fund-manager sentiment toward the market, and it appears that they're jumping back in after the recent correction. The reading came in at 91.6. This is still lower than the second-highest reading seen on Nov. 27, 2013, but was about a 20% increase over last week's reading."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Closing out the week are the Labor Department's preliminary reading on fourth-quarter GDP, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), the final Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for February, and the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index. The earnings docket includes 3D Systems (DDD), Frontline (FRO), and L.B. Foster (FSTR).
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