Dow Jones Industrial Average Pointed Higher Amid Overseas News

Japan will hold off on a planned sales tax increase

Nov 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is pointed slightly higher ahead of the bell, as traders pan the latest quarterly results from blue-chip component The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD). Overseas developments -- including Japan's decision to delay a planned sales tax increase, and encouraging economic sentiment data out of Germany -- are helping to assist the DJI on its northward trek. On the domestic front, traders are gearing up for the latest producer price index (PPI) results, as well as housing numbers and Treasury International Capital (TIC) data. Separately, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota is scheduled to speak this afternoon about clarifying monetary policy objectives.

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 19 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.14 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 634,422 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.56, while the 21-day moving average edged lower to 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.3% at 87.67.
  • Crude oil is up 0.1% at $75.76 per barrel.
  • Gold has tacked on 1.3% at $1,198.50 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The PPI and core PPI, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index, and TIC data are on today's docket. Stepping into the earnings confessional will be HD, Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), JA Solar (JASO), La-Z-Boy (LZB), Manchester United (MANU), Medtronic (MDT), and TJX Companies (TJX).

Overseas Trading

Asian markets finished the day mixed, amid a larger-than-anticipated drop in China's property prices and a resultant sell-off in real estate stocks. By day's end, the Shanghai Composite was off 0.7%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng stumbled an even steeper 1.1%. However, Japan's Nikkei rallied 2.2% -- rebounding from the previous session's drubbing -- on speculation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could delay a planned sales tax hike for as long as 18 months. South Korea's Kospi also settled in the green, up 1.2% -- its first positive session in four -- thanks to European Central Bank (ECB) stimulus chatter.

Stocks in Europe are higher around midday, as traders cheer the latest economic sentiment data out of Germany, as well as the aforementioned rebound in Japanese markets. Currently, Frankfurt's DAX is 1.2% north of breakeven, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.8%. Elsewhere, London's FTSE 100 is flirting with a 0.5% lead, amid in-line inflation data in September.

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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