Dow Begins to Retreat On Overseas Data, Oil Outlook

Chinese trade data declined sharply in November, stoking investor fears

Dec 8, 2014 at 8:22 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is pointed lower ahead of the bell, as traders digest weak data out of Asia and Morgan Stanley's reduced price outlook for Brent crude through 2018. On the homefront, the economic calendar is bare, though Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is scheduled to give a speech on the economic outlook and monetary policy at 12:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Dow component Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is grabbing headlines by agreeing to buy antibiotics maker Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CBST) for roughly $9.5 billion.

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 45 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.3 million call contracts traded Friday, compared to 663,258 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.50, while the 21-day moving average edged down to 0.59.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up a slim 0.04% at 89.38.
  • Crude oil is 2.1% lower at $64.47 per barrel.
  • Gold is off 0.5% at $1,196.50 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

There are no notable economic reports today. Diamond Foods (DMND), H & R Block (HRB), and Vail Resorts (MTN) will release earnings.

Overseas Trading

Asian stocks ended mostly higher, despite a generally disappointing round of economic data. Chinese imports and exports unexpectedly slowed in November -- though the nation's trade surplus hit its highest mark in 14 years -- while Japan's revised third-quarter gross domestic product shrank more than originally expected. By the close, China's Shanghai Composite settled at a three-year peak, rising 2.9%. Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. The lone outlier was South Korea's Kospi, which gave back 0.4%.

European markets are generally lower around midday, pressured by weakness in construction and energy stocks. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.8%, while the French CAC 40 has given back 0.7%. Meanwhile, Germany's DAX has slipped 0.5%, following Chancellor Angela Merkel's attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin for "creating problems" in Georgia and Moldova.

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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