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"The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) closed modestly higher on Friday, after an initial upside gap in reaction to a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls number," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Financials were once again the leaders, as banking shares showed strong upside action." In today's session, the blue-chip barometer is pointed lower, as investors react to a pair of economic reports from Asia that showed an unexpected drop in Chinese exports and a worse-than-forecast reading on Japan's gross domestic product.

Back on the home front, the economic calendar is bare. However, traders will have the chance to mull over a speech from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who is scheduled to take the podium at 12:40 p.m. ET.

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- How to Interpret Short Interest: Consider the short-to-float ratio. By checking out a stock's short-to-float ratio, you can quickly gauge how many traders are betting on the shares to drop.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are about 7 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,283,407 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 709,704 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.55, while the 21-day moving average dipped to 0.57.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) closed slightly above the 188 strike, which was home to peak call open interest for Friday's expiring series," continued Venosa. "Heavy put purchases on Thursday did translate into 187.50-strike open interest, which became a floor during Friday's action."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up 0.1% in pre-market trading, with the currency lingering near 79.79.
  • Following a report of a decline in Chinese exports, crude oil is trading 1.3% lower at $101.28 per barrel.
  • Gold futures are also in the red, with gold for April delivery down 0.1% to trade at $1,336.80 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's economic calendar is bare. Meanwhile, FuelCell Energy (FCEL) and United Natural Foods (UNFI) are scheduled to release quarterly earnings.

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