Dow Jones Heading South on Jobs Data Jitters

A strengthening yen sent Japan's Nikkei lower

Mar 4, 2015 at 8:25 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is signaling a second straight day of losses, as traders take a glass-half-empty approach following a disappointing update on private-sector employment. This data is often seen as a precursor to Friday's highly watched nonfarm payrolls report, and could provide some insight as to when the Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates. Speaking of the Fed, a trio of central bank officials are slated to take the podium throughout the day, with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans kicking things off at 9 a.m. ET. Additionally, the Fed's Beige Book is due out at 2 p.m. ET.

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 42 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 830,818 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 545,030 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio moved up to 0.66, while the 21-day moving average came in at 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is 0.4% higher at 95.72.
  • Crude oil is moving higher again, up 0.8% at $50.94 per barrel.
  • Gold is down 0.02% at $1,204.20 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Hitting the Street today are ADP's employment report, the ISM services index, weekly crude inventories, and the Fed's Beige Book. Companies entering the earnings confessional include Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), H & R Block (HRB), PetSmart (PETM), ReneSola (SOL), Trina Solar (TSL), and Vivint Solar (VSLR).

Overseas Trading

Asian markets ended mostly lower. One positive outlier was the Shanghai Composite, which managed to finish with a 0.5% gain. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1% after poor retail numbers from January weighed on sentiment. Furthermore, Japan's Nikkei went lower once again, finishing with a loss of 0.6% in the face of a stronger yen, and South Korea's Kospi ended with a 0.2% dip.

Ahead of the European Central Bank's (ECB) meeting on Thursday, European indexes are little changed at midday. At last check, London's FTSE 100 was off 0.2%, Germany's DAX is just barely below breakeven, and France's CAC 40 is up 0.2%.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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