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Dow Jones Industrial Average Stands Pat as Wall Street Waits for Yellen

Crude oil and gold head south, while the dollar looks north

by 3/19/2014 8:09:18 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rallied strongly for a second straight day in front of today's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy statement, which is set for release at 2 p.m. ET," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. This morning, futures on the DJI have pushed slightly higher, as investors await the outcome of the FOMC meeting and subsequent press conference with Fed chief Janet Yellen. This will be her first as head of the central bank. Economists are largely projecting the Fed to continue its current tapering plan, and revise its policy of tying interest rates to a 6.5% unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, Venosa says that he's "keeping an eye on the $189 level on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY). Peak call open interest for the March series -- which expires on Friday -- is located here."

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- How to Get Started with Options: Stick with basic strategies. Make sure you master the fundamentals before spreading your wings with iron condors and long butterflies.

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 nearly 22 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,044,200 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 569,299 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio dropped to 0.55, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.59.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is sitting just above the flat line this morning, with the greenback lingering near 79.43.
  • Ahead of today's weekly inventories update, crude oil is eyeing a 0.3% drop, with the front-month contract last seen at $98.57 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are poised to continue their recent retreat, with gold for April delivery down 0.9% at $1,346.40 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Weekly crude inventories and the latest policy decision from the FOMC are due out today. Also, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. FedEx (FDX), Guess Inc (GES), General Mills (GIS), KB Home (KBH), Jabil Circuit (JBL), and Vera Bradley (VRA) will report earnings.

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