Dow Cautiously Higher After Chinese Rate Cut

Crude oil is swimming in the red

Mar 2, 2015 at 8:27 AM
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After wrapping up their best month in years, the major market indexes are cautiously higher ahead of the bell. Traders are weighing another rate cut out of China and sinking crude oil prices, and readying for a slew of domestic economic reports, including Markit's purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) and the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) and its peers were sitting modestly higher in electronic trading, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) hoping to extend its string of fresh 14-year highs.

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 13 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.06 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 682,380 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio edged down to 0.64, 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 0.2% lower at 95.13.
  • After notching its first monthly win since June, crude oil is kicking March off on a sour note, down 1.6% at $48.95 per barrel.
  • Gold is up 0.5% at $1,218.90 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The week kicks off with personal income and spending, Markit's PMI, the ISM's manufacturing index, and construction spending. Caesars Entertainment (CZR), Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Stratasys (SSYS), JinkoSolar (JKS), Mylan (MYL), and Sotheby's (BID) will all step into the earnings spotlight. To see what else is coming up on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

A weekend rate cut from China's central bank bolstered Asian benchmarks today. The Shanghai Composite soared 0.8%, with help from encouraging manufacturing data, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.3%. An upbeat report on Japanese business spending helped Japan's Nikkei 0.2% higher to a nearly 15-year high, while the debut of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S6 contributed to a 0.6% gain for South Korea's Kospi.

Stocks in Europe, on the other hand, are lower at midday, as traders digest the latest economic data and sinking crude prices. At last check, London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were both 0.2% lower, while France's CAC 40 was down 0.8%.

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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