"The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) experienced some afternoon selling pressure on Wednesday, as small-caps and tech names were a drag on the overall market," commented Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Today's action should be quite busy, with markets digesting lots of economic data, as well last night's earnings beat from Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)." It could be a tug of war among blue chips, however, after Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) reported first-quarter results this morning that missed analysts' estimates. At last check, the bears were winning, with futures on the DJI sitting about 22 points below breakeven.
On the economic front, updates on inflation, employment, factory activity, and housing are all slated for release. After the close, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to give a speech at 6:15 p.m. ET.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are roughly 22 points below breakeven.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 839,671 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 600,405 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio jumped to 0.72, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.62.
From the Trading Floor
"As I've noted all week, a very large accumulation of May call open interest resides at the $190 level on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)," continued Venosa. "It appears this has created a short-term cap on the shares ahead of options expiration this Friday."
Currencies and Commodities
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's docket includes the consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI, weekly jobless claims, the Empire State manufacturing survey, Treasury International Capital (TIC) data, industrial production and capacity utilization, and the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey. Entering the earnings confessional are WMT, J.C. Penney Company (JCP), Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Applied Materials (AMAT), Autodesk (ADSK), E-Commerce China Dangdang (DANG), Flowers Foods (FLO), Kohl's (KSS), and Nordstrom (JWN).
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