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Hot Stock News for Options Traders
Stocks quoted in this article:

"Both equity and bond markets responded negatively to the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy statement released yesterday afternoon, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 114 points," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "The statement and subsequent press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen seemed to express a hawkish stance, suggesting rate hikes could begin in early 2015." The DJI is poised to continue its retreat in today's session, with futures pointed lower ahead of the bell. With traders keeping a close eye on the state of the economy, today's updates on employment, manufacturing, and existing home sales should garner a fair amount of attention.

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- How to Get Started with Options: Check your motives. Never buy an option just because it's "cheap" -- because the higher risk of a 100% loss isn't always such a great bargain.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are more than 42 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,128,832 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 596,821 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio fell to 0.53, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.59.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Housing shares got a boost from KB Home's (NYSE:KBH) latest earnings release yesterday, but succumbed to late-day selling pressure as a result of rising bond yields," said Venosa. "Meanwhile, continue to watch the $189 level to the upside on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), where peak call open interest in the March series resides. On the downside, keep an eye on the 185 strike price, as a large amount of put open interest is located here. I expect one of these strikes to get hit in the next two days."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index has tacked on 0.3% ahead of the bell, with the currency lingering near 80.27.
  • Crude oil is poised to move lower, with the front-month contract down 0.4% at $98.77 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are poised for a fourth straight day in the red, with gold for April delivery 1.2% lower at last check to trade at $1,325.30 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Weekly jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey, and existing home sales will be released today. Nike (NKE), ConAgra Foods (CAG), Lennar (LEN), Silver Wheaton (SLW), Tibco Software (TIBX), and Wet Seal (WTSL) will step into the earnings confessional.

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