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Dow Jones Industrial Average Little Changed as Wall Street Waits for Direction

Upbeat manufacturing data from China helps lift most Asian markets

by 5/22/2014 8:12:20 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) are sitting just below breakeven this morning, following Wednesday's nearly 1% pop for the 30-stock index. Investors appear to be in wait-and-see mode ahead of today's round of economic and earnings reports. On the economic side, updates on employment, factory activity, housing, and leading indicators are due. Meanwhile, on the corporate front, retailers will remain in focus, with earnings results from Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), and Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) all being released before the opening bell.

Looking at the charts, "The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) broke above its resistance level at 3,600 yesterday, so it appears that technology will drive the market higher -- and allow the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to challenge 1,900 again," observed Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp.

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 about 5 points below breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 851,930 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 575,500 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio edged higher to 0.68, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"Wednesday's Investors Intelligence poll showed a substantial uptick in bullishness," said Sapp. "In fact, the current reading is the highest since February. Coupling that with a CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) that's trading around 12, you have to take notice that complacency is on the rise."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up about 0.1% in pre-market trading, with the greenback lingering near 80.16.
  • After topping out at a one-month high yesterday, crude oil is in retreat mode. At last check, futures for the commodity were down 0.1% at $103.95 per barrel.
  • Gold, meanwhile, is on pace to erase Wednesday's modest loss, with the malleable metal 0.7% higher at $1,297.70 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The preliminary purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) for May will be announced today, as well as weekly jobless claims, last month's existing home sales, and the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for April. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Aeropostale (ARO), Aruba Networks (ARUN), BBY, Buckle (BKE), DLTR, GameStop (GME), Gap (GPS), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Ross Stores (ROST), SHLD, and TiVo (TIVO) will reveal quarterly earnings.

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