The Dow's Futures Higher; Retail and Jobs in Focus

U.S. stocks got help from Asia ahead of key economic data

Mar 12, 2015 at 8:04 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) are pointed higher this morning, as the index looks to recover from Wednesday's losses. Traders are encouraged by strong gains in Asia following an unexpected monetary policy move, while looking forward to key U.S. economic news due out today -- namely, retail sales and weekly jobless claims numbers. Also on tap are a number of earnings reports, including names such as El Pollo Loco (LOCO) and Dollar General (DG).

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 roughly 59 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 872,647 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 580,798 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.67, 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 down 0.7% at 99.06.
  • Crude oil has added 0.9% at $50.48 per barrel.
  • Gold is up 7% at $1,158.40 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Weekly jobless claims, retail sales, import and export prices, and wholesale inventories are all on today's docket. On the earnings front, Aeropostale (ARO), Dollar General (DG), El Pollo Loco (LOCO), JA Solar (JASO), and The Children's Place (PLCE) will present. To see what else is coming up on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Most Asian markets got a boost Thursday from a surprise rate cut at the Bank of Korea, though South Korea's Kospi settled down 0.5% as the won recovered from its recent lows. Japan's Nikkei added 1.4%, and China's Shanghai Composite gained 1.8% to touch a six-week peak, thanks to a surge from financial names amid ongoing stimulus speculation. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.3%.

Bourses in Europe are mixed at midday, with traders considering yesterday's cautiously optimistic comments by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, as well as mixed inflation data from across the region. London's FTSE 100 takes the top spot with a 0.9% lead. The French CAC 40 and German DAX are each roughly 0.2% lower.

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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