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."
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are about 16 points below breakeven.
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.
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
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).
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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