Dow is Set to Start Holiday Week On a Strong Note

Crude oil is poised to resume its recent downtrend

Dec 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM
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After a strong showing last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is headed higher once again. Although it's expected to be a low-volume session due to the holiday-shortened week, there's plenty on the corporate front to hold investors' attention. Specifically, the biopharmaceutical sector should be in focus today, following fundamental developments for Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CBST), AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD).

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 more than 78 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.43 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 835,661 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio edged up to 0.59, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.1% at 89.49.
  • Crude oil is ready to resume its recent downtrend, and was last seen 1.1% lower at $56.51 per barrel.
  • Gold, meanwhile, is little changed to trade at $1,196.20 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The holiday week kicks off with existing home sales. There are no notable earnings on tap.

Overseas Trading

Asian markets extended last week's Fed-induced rally, as a continued bounce in crude oil helped boost investor sentiment. In China, the Shanghai Composite tagged a nearly four-year high before settling with a 0.7% gain, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3%. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi tacked on 0.7%, despite downwardly revised 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.1%.

A rebound in energy stocks has European benchmarks higher at midday. Additionally, traders appear to be taking a glass-half-full approach ahead of today's release of a flash reading on eurozone consumer confidence, as well as the Bank of England's (BoE) minutes from its latest policy-setting meeting. At last check, the German DAX is up 1%, while London's FTSE 100 and the French CAC 40 are flirting with 0.8% leads.

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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