The Dow is Still Shaky; Kraft, Heinz to Merge

Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT) will merge with H.J. Heinz Company

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:22 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is struggling to choose a direction ahead of the bell, as investors continue to eye a choppy dollar. Also, Wall Street is looking forward to the latest report on durable goods orders and the regularly scheduled crude inventories update. On the earnings front, the big news this morning is a weak sales forecast from Apollo Education Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), which has the shares sitting on a 14.3% deficit. Finally, Kraft Foods Group Inc (NASDAQ:KRFT) and H.J. Heinz Company announced a merger with a projected value of roughly $40 billion, sending KRFT up more than 35% ahead of the bell.

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 751,475 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 523,710 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.70, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is off 0.4% at 96.80.
  • Crude oil has dipped 0.3% to trade at $47.36 per barrel.
  • Gold is up 0.2% at $1,193.80 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

The Energy Information Administration's (EIA) weekly crude inventories report, as well as data on durable goods orders, will hit the Street today. Five Below (FIVE), Francesca's (FRAN), Pacific Sunwear (PSUN), Paychex (PAYX), PVH (PVH), Red Hat (RHT), Worthington (WOR), and Yingli Green Energy (YGE) will step into the earnings confessional. To see what else is on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian benchmarks settled mostly higher, despite ongoing concerns about Chinese economic growth and losses for U.S. stocks. Japan's Nikkei muscled 0.2% higher, close to a 15-year peak. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi added 0.5% and 0.1%, respectively -- even as the latter posted its weakest gross domestic product (GDP) since 2009. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite gave back 0.8%, snapping a streak of 10 straight daily wins.

European stocks are lower at midday, as concerns over Greece's liquidity offset growing optimism among German businesses. Specifically, the German DAX is down 0.7%, even though the Ifo business sentiment index rose more than expected this month. Similarly, the French CAC 40 is off 0.8%, and London's FTSE 100 has retreated 0.2%.

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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