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Dow Jones Industrial Average Set to Drop; Wal-Mart Stores, Manufacturing Data in the Spotlight

A contraction in Chinese manufacturing took its toll on stocks across the globe

by 2/20/2014 8:12:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is poised to follow its overseas comrades into the red. Weighing on the blue-chip index is Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), which is lower in pre-market activity after issuing lackluster guidance. In addition, speculators are digesting weaker-than-expected manufacturing data out of China, which is dragging on sentiment ahead of the Philly Fed's manufacturing survey, slated for release at 10 a.m. ET.

"Most of the indexes closed near their daily lows yesterday, after being up in the morning," noted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Energy was the lone positive sector, while financial stocks continued to lag. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was ultimately rejected by the 184 strike, which is home to peak call open interest set to expire this Friday. Continue to watch this level -- as well as the round-number 180 level, where peak front-month put open interest is located, as it could act as a magnet on possible continued weakness."

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 36 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,311,492 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 724,952 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.55, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.61.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is fractionally higher ahead of the bell, with the currency last seen at 80.28.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil is pulling back ahead of the holiday-delayed inventories report, with the front-month contract down 0.4% at $102.42 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are on pace to extend yesterday's retreat, with the front-month contract 0.6% lower at $1,312.80 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The consumer price index (CPI), Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey, and the preliminary reading of the purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) for February are on today's docket, along with weekly jobless claims and the holiday-delayed crude inventories report. Earnings are expected from Groupon (GRPN), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Aruba Networks (ARUN), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), DIRECTV (DTV), Express Scripts (ESRX), Hormel Foods (HRL), IMAX Corporation (IMAX), InterDigital (IDCC), Intuit (INTU), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Newmont Mining (NEM), Nordstrom (JWN), (PCLN), Walter Energy (WLT), and Zale (ZLC).

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