"After an initial upside gap yesterday, the market was mostly range-bound, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) closing up about 62 points," highlighted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "The big economic report that everybody's been waiting for is set for release this morning -- the February employment numbers." Economists believe the U.S. added 152,000 new jobs last month, with the unemployment rate forecast to drop 0.1 percentage point to 6.5% -- the level the Federal Reserve has tied to a rise in interest rates. Ahead of the market-moving event, futures on the DJI are sitting modestly above breakeven.
Meanwhile, as Venosa explains, "Put buying on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was somewhat strong on Thursday, and the weekly 3/7 187.50 and 188 strikes, which expire at tonight's close, saw a lot of action. These levels could be supportive of today's trading as a result."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are sitting more than 22 points above breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,337,040 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 703,345 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio rose to 0.53, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.58.
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
The highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report for February, as well as international trade data and consumer credit, will hit the Street today. Foot Locker (FL) and Big Lots (BIG) will announce earnings.
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