Dow Jones Industrial Average Signals Slow Start

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester thinks a June interest rate hike is a "viable option"

Mar 23, 2015 at 8:24 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) appears ready to take a breather following last week's strong finish, as investors await a number of economic reports and speeches from central bank officials on tap this week. Today, the latest existing home sales numbers will hit the Street, while Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and San Francisco Fed President John Williams will take the podium. Also, during a speech in France earlier this morning, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester expressed optimism about the economy, and said a June interest-rate hike is a "viable option." Meanwhile, crude has pulled back from last week's gains, as weekend remarks from Saudi Arabia's oil minister suggested the nation would stand pat on current oil production.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (DJIA) are roughly 4 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.3 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 756,553 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dipped to 0.57, 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 down 0.4% at 97.48.
  • Crude oil has dropped 2.1% to trade at $45.59 per barrel, after Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi reiterated over the weekend the country's decision to keep output levels as-is.
  • Gold is off 0.3% at $1,180.60 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The week kicks off with existing home sales. There are no notable earnings reports scheduled. To see what else is on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian benchmarks finished mostly higher, following the lead of U.S. equities on Friday. Japan's Nikkei jumped 1% to reach its loftiest mark in 15 years, while China's Shanghai Composite soared 2% amid strength in the real estate and infrastructure sectors, to finish at a nearly seven-year high. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up 0.5%, while South Korea's Kospi settled 0.03% below breakeven.

Stocks in Europe are getting pummeled at midday, as traders brace for a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the former nation's bailout reforms. At last check, the German DAX is down 1.3%, the French CAC 40 has retreated 1%, and London's FTSE 100 is 0.3% lower, pulling back from Friday's record high amid weakness in energy and basic materials stocks.

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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