Dow Trades Higher on ECB Optimism, IMF Outlook

Crude crumbles after the IMF cut its global growth outlook

Jan 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM
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Traders are returning from the long weekend in a bullish mood, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) solidly higher. Boosting investor sentiment is speculation surrounding this Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, with hopes high the central bank could announce a fresh round of stimulus measures. Also, although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for global growth, the one exception among major economies was the U.S., which received an upwardly revised growth outlook.

Additionally, earnings season is carrying on, with financial heavyweight Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and airline issue Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) releasing their results ahead of the bell. Elsewhere, an update on housing and a speech by Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell could garner some attention later this morning.

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 85 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.6 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 1.1 million put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.68, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.64.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up 0.3% at 92.76.
  • Crude oil has plunged 2.5% to $47.88 per barrel.
  • Gold, meanwhile, is continuing to flirt with multi-month highs, and is up 0.9% at $1,288.20 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The National Association of Home Builders will release its housing market index today. IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Halliburton (HAL), MS, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Baker Hughes (BHI), Cree (CREE), DAL, MGIC Investment Corp (MTG), Netflix (NFLX), Petmed Express (PETS), and Regions Financial (RF) will step into the earnings confessional.

Overseas Trading

Asian benchmarks soared today, after a better-than-expected reading on China's fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) overshadowed the IMF's downwardly revised global growth forecast. By the close, Japan's Nikkei was 2.1% higher as the Bank of Japan kicked off its two-day policy setting meeting, China's Shanghai Composite was up 1.9%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng tacked on 0.9%, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.8%.

European markets are solidly in the green at midday, as speculation mounts that the ECB could announce a new bond-buying program at this Thursday's meeting. At last check, the French CAC 40 is 1.4% higher, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.7%, and the German DAX is flirting with a 0.3% lead.

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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