Dow Jones Industrial Average Sinks as Russia's Troubles Intensify

Russia's central bank announced a sharp interest-rate hike overnight

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is poised for another day of sharp losses, as oil's rout and Russia's woes continue to rile global markets. In fact, Russia's ruble hit another all-time low against the dollar, despite an unexpected overnight interest-rate hike by the country's central bank. Back on the homefront, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kicks off its two-day policy-setting meeting today -- the final one of 2014. Additionally, housing starts and Markit's flash purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) are set for release.

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 69 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.23 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 920,988 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.75, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.8% at 87.74.
  • Crude oil has plunged 2.8% to trade at $54.67 per barrel.
  • Gold is up 0.6% at $1,214.60 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will kick off its two-day policy-setting meeting today. Also on the docket are data on housing starts and Markit's flash PMI. Darden Restaurants (DRI), FactSet (FDS), and Navistar (NAV) will report earnings.

Overseas Trading

Asian markets finished mostly lower today, following a report that showed manufacturing in China contracted for the first time in seven months. Stoking the bearish flames was an extended slide against the dollar for Russia's ruble, despite the country's central bank announcing a steep interest-rate hike. By the close, Japan's Nikkei was down 2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.6%, while South Korea's Kospi surrendered 0.9%. China's Shanghai Composite, meanwhile, rallied 2.3% after authorities gave the green light to a $31 billion infrastructure package.

European benchmarks are in the red at midday, as an extended slide in oil overshadows better-than-expected readings on business activity in both Germany and the broader eurozone. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 1.6%, the German DAX is down 0.9%, and London's FTSE 100 is flirting with a 0.2% loss.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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