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Dow Jones Industrial Average Signals a Slow Start; Small-Caps in Focus

China's Shanghai Composite eked out a win amid a light-volume session

by 5/6/2014 8:11:36 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

After rallying to a win on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is signaling a slow start this morning, with futures pointed modestly lower. Amid a light economic calendar -- the international trade balance is the sole data point on the docket -- investors will turn to a number of early morning earnings reports for direction. Included in today's corporate earnings mix are CBOE Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ:CBOE), DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), the last of which is up more than 8% ahead of the bell.

Elsewhere, Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp will "continue to keep a very close eye on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) near its 200-day moving average -- currently located around 1,115. Small-caps have underperformed other indexes over the past month, and yesterday morning's sell-off marked the sixth time that this major support level has been tested since the beginning of April. Should this moving average give way to downside price action, it would be a major warning sign for stocks over the intermediate term."

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- 5 Ways to Win with Aggressive Trades: Don't invest in intrinsic value. If you're expecting a drastic pop or drop in the stock, why not juice your returns even further by capitalizing on the greater leverage of at-the-money options?

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 16 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 781,443 call contracts traded on Monday -- the fewest in a full session since Aug. 30 -- compared to 508,622 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio remained at 0.65, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.60.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Despite growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, bulls continue to step in and buy dips in the market," said Sapp. "Demand for market protection remains relatively low, and gold has yet to see a real fear-based pop."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.5% ahead of the bell to trade at 79.12.
  • Crude oil, meanwhile, is on the mend, with black gold up 0.2% in pre-market trading to linger near $99.68 per barrel.
  • Elsewhere, gold is on pace to extend Monday's advance, with the commodity 0.2% higher at $1,311.30 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

March's U.S. trade balance is scheduled for release today. Stepping under the earnings spotlight are Walt Disney (DIS), Groupon (GRPN), Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Allstate (ALL), CBOE, Corinthian College (COCO), DTV, Electronic Arts (EA), First Solar (FSLR), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Live Nation (LYV), Marathon Oil (MRO), Mosaic Co (MOS), Myriad Genetics (MYGN), NRG Energy (NRG), Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS), ODP, TripAdvisor (TRIP), UBS AG (UBS), Whole Foods (WFM), and Zulily (ZU).

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