Dow Jones Industrial Average Flat, with Fed Minutes In Focus

The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy intact after a weak GDP reading

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 19, 2014 at 8:19 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is waffling around breakeven ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes, due for release this afternoon. Specifically, traders are looking for clues regarding the future of U.S. interest rates, as the central bank brings its monetary easing program to a close. Overseas, the big news is the Bank of Japan (BoJ) decided to keep its own stimulus plan in place, as the country's economy tries to recover from a disappointing third-quarter growth rate. Looking ahead, housing starts and building permits are due out, while earnings from Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) have just hit the Street, and quarterly results from Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR) are scheduled for this evening.

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 7 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.27 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 599,152 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.47, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index has edged up 0.1% at 87.67.
  • Crude oil has tacked on 0.2% at $74.82 per barrel.
  • Gold is down 0.2% at $1,194.30 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's docket is highlighted by the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, plus data on housing starts, and the regularly scheduled crude inventories report. GMCR, J.M. Smucker (SJM), Lowe's (LOW), Salesforce.com (CRM), Staples (SPLS), and TGT will unveil earnings.

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia finished lower, pressured by fears of a Japanese recession and uncertainty over the Fed's upcoming meeting minutes. China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 0.2% and 0.7%, respectively, while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.3% on news the BoJ will not change its monetary policy after the latest gross domestic product (GDP) reading. Finally, South Korea's Kospi ended fractionally lower, despite the nation's finance minister expressing concerns about the local economy's recovery, as well as a weakening yen.

European bourses are mixed, as traders across the pond also await the Fed's meeting minutes, and digest minutes from the Bank of England's latest meeting, which revealed division among policy makers regarding a rate hike. Around midday, London's FTSE 100 is off 0.1%, while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX are up 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

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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