Dow Jones Industrial Average Looks North Ahead of Draghi

The ECB kept its key interest rate unchanged

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 22, 2015 at 8:19 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is poised for a fourth straight day of gains, with futures pointed solidly higher this morning. Stoking the bullish flames is hope that European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi will unveil a fresh round of stimulus measures at today's press conference -- and if yesterday's reports are accurate, it could be massive. Ahead of this highly anticipated event, the central bank announced no change to its key interest rate.

Back on the homefront, there will be plenty to hold investors' attention. On the economic front, weekly jobless claims and the holiday-delayed crude inventories report will be released. Additionally, a slew of companies reported quarterly earnings, including American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), and F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV).

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 81 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 865,632 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 519,089 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.60, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is 0.4% lower at 92.53.
  • Crude oil is on pace to add to Wednesday's gains, and was last seen up 2% at $48.74 per barrel.
  • Gold, meanwhile, is eyeing a second straight day of losses, down 0.8% at $1,282.80 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Weekly jobless claims and crude inventories come out today. Verizon (VZ), Travelers (TRV), Starbucks (SBUX), Alaska Air Group (ALK), Altera (ALTR), Capital One Financial (COF), Covidien (COV), Cypress Semiconductor (CY), E*TRADE Financial (ETFC), Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS), Huntington (HBAN), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Janus Capital (JNS), Johnson Controls (JCI), KeyCorp (KEY), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Travelzoo (TZOO), United Continental Holdings (UAL), and Union Pacific Corp (UNP) will step into the earnings spotlight.

Overseas Trading

Asian markets finished mostly higher today, amid expectations the ECB will announce a massive stimulus package today. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 0.6% after the People's Bank of China executed its first reverse-repurchase program in 12 months. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7%, while Japan's Nikkei tacked on 0.3% on the back of a cooling yen. South Korea's Kospi, however, was unable to hold on to early gains, and settled slightly below breakeven.

European benchmarks are mixed at midday, as traders digest the latest policy decision from the ECB. As expected, the central bank left its key interest rate unchanged. All eyes will now turn to an upcoming press conference from ECB President Mario Draghi for clues on a potential bond-buying program. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.5%, the German DAX is down 0.2%, while the French CAC 40 is flirting with a 0.1% loss.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls


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