Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops as Fed Jitters Set In

The FOMC will begin its two-day policy-setting meeting today

Mar 17, 2015 at 8:21 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is poised to pare a portion of Monday's massive gains, as traders take some profits off the table ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest policy decision. The two-day meeting -- which kicks off today -- is expected to shed some light on a possible interest-rate hike, with investors keeping a close eye on the FOMC's use of the word "patience." Meanwhile, the housing sector could garner some attention today, with housing starts slated for release at 8:30 a.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 88 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 798,554 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 548,211 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio plunged to 0.69, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.64.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is off 0.1% at 99.54.
  • Crude oil is on pace to extend Monday's slide, down 2.4% at $45.01 per barrel.
  • Gold, meanwhile, is 0.1% lower at $1,152.40 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Housing starts are the sole data point on today's docket. Meanwhile, the FOMC begins its two-day policy-setting meeting. DSW Inc. (DSW), Adobe Systems (ADBE), and Oracle (ORCL) will take their turns on the earnings stage. To see what else is on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Most Asian markets followed their U.S. counterparts into the green, ahead of today's FOMC meeting. In South Korea, the Kospi soared 2.1% amid a rally in blue chips and brokerage names, while stimulus hopes helped China's Shanghai Composite extend yesterday's rally to close up 1.6% at a five-year high. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei tacked on 1% to settle at a new 15-year peak, after the Bank of Japan chose to keep its current monetary easing program intact. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the regional bullish bias, though, to close at a 0.2% loss.

It's a decidedly different setup across the pond, with most European benchmarks wallowing in red ink at midday, following a worse-than-expected reading on German investor confidence and a report indicating deflation in the eurozone last month. At last check, the German DAX is off 1.5%, and the French CAC 40 is down 0.8%, while London's FTSE 100 is clinging to a 0.02% gain.

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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