Dow is On Edge as Yellen Heads to Capitol Hill

Greece submitted economic reform plans late last night

Feb 24, 2015 at 8:27 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is little changed ahead of the bell, as traders take a cautious stance ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress, which begins this morning and will continue into Wednesday. Investors will be listening closely to Yellen's remarks for possible clues about the timing of future rate hikes. Meanwhile, Dow component Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is perched nearly 4% higher in electronic trading, following a fourth-quarter earnings beat. Finally, Greece remains in the headlines, as the nation submitted its economic reform proposal late last night, just meeting the deadline imposed by its eurozone creditors.

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 about 9 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.01 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 623,947 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.62, 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 0.2% at 94.72.
  • Crude oil appears ready to bounce back, adding 0.5% to trade at $49.70 per barrel.
  • Gold is off 0.2% at $1,198.50 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index is due out today, along with the Conference Board's latest consumer confidence index. Meanwhile, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will deliver her semi-annual testimony on monetary policy to the Senate Banking Committee. Earnings are expected from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Comcast (CMCSA), Cracker Barrel (CBRL), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Dreamworks Animation (DWA), First Solar (FSLR), Macy's (M), MannKind (MNKD), Office Depot (ODP), SunPower (SPWR), and Toll Brothers (TOL). To see what's coming up on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian stocks settled mostly higher, as investors took a glass-half-full approach ahead of Yellen's testimony before Congress, and amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding Greece's reform plans. Japan's Nikkei hit yet another 15-year high on a weaker yen, and ended on a gain of 0.7%. South Korea's Kospi also added 0.4% on strength among tech stocks. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled 0.4% lower as financial names struggled, while markets in China remained shuttered for the New Year holiday.

European bourses are mixed around midday, as a rally among miners counterbalances questions about Greece's latest economic reform program -- which was submitted to Eurogroup finance ministers around midnight, minutes before the deadline. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 0.1%, Frankfurt's DAX is just below breakeven amid in-line gross domestic product (GDP) figures, and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.2%.

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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