Dow Braces for a Steep Drop; Big Banks in Focus

Five global lenders were hit with $3.3 billion in fines

Nov 12, 2014 at 8:21 AM
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After notching its fifth consecutive record high yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is sitting solidly lower ahead of the bell. In today's session, big banks will be in focus, after regulators in both the U.S. and U.K. slapped five large global lenders with forex-manipulation fines totaling roughly $3.3 billion. Also spooking the Street are words from Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, who said interest rates should be increased "sooner rather than later" at a speech given overnight in London. Elsewhere on the central bank front, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota is slated to take the stage later this afternoon. Against this backdrop, futures on the DJI are down 68 points, while futures on the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) were last seen 8 points lower.

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 68 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 860,137 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 553,978 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.64, while the 21-day moving average edged lower to 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up 0.1% at 87.59.
  • Crude oil is on pace to erase yesterday's gains, down 0.8% at $77.33 per barrel.
  • Gold is little changed, and was last seen lingering near $1,162.80 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's docket shows the latest wholesale inventories update. Reporting earnings will be Cisco Systems (CSCO), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), J C Penney (JCP), M, NetApp (NTAP), Rocket Fuel (FUEL), and SeaWorld (SEAS).

Overseas Trading

Markets in Asia finished higher today, with Japan's Nikkei closing up 0.4% -- at a seven-year high -- on reports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will delay a national sales tax hike and schedule a snap election for next month. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite surged 1% thanks to a lift from financials, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6%, and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2%.

European bourses are lower at midday, as banking stocks sell off following stiff regulatory penalties assigned to a number of large global lenders. Also weighing on investor sentiment are U.K.'s weaker-than-forecast unemployment rate and the Bank of England's downwardly revised growth and inflation forecasts for the country. Against this backdrop, the German DAX is down 1.4%, the French CAC 40 has shed 1.1%, and London's FTSE 100 is flirting with a 0.4% loss.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations.

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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