Dow Jones Industrial Average On Edge Ahead of GDP, Yellen

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer expressed confidence about the nonbank financial sector

Mar 27, 2015 at 8:23 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is modestly lower ahead of the bell, and the blue-chip index may be on pace for a fifth consecutive loss. While traders have one eye trained overseas on the conflict between Saudi Arabia and rebels in Yemen, most of their attention will be on stateside developments, with U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) set for release this morning, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen due to speak just before the close. On a related note, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer took the podium earlier, and said the nonbank financial sector -- which includes hedge funds and insurance companies -- has "generally reduced its vulnerability to the types of shocks that we saw during the crisis."

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are roughly 11 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 994,232 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 581,586 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dove to 0.58, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.65.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is up 0.1% at 97.53.
  • Crude oil has given back some of yesterday's gains, down 1.6% at $50.59 per barrel.
  • Gold is off 0.4% at $1,201 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's docket includes the final reading on fourth-quarter GDP and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Scheduled to report earnings are BlackBerry (BBRY), Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), and Finish Line (FINL). To see what is on next week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian markets settled mostly lower, pressured by worries over the mounting conflict in Yemen and weak data out of Japan. Specifically, Japan's Nikkei retreated 1% after the country's consumer price index (CPI) sparked fresh deflationary concerns; similarly, retail sales disappointed. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped a mere 0.04%, and South Korea's Kospi finished 0.1% lower. By contrast, China's Shanghai Composite muscled 0.3% higher to finish near a seven-year high, despite a 4.2% year-over-year drop in industrial profits.

Stocks in Europe are mixed, as investors trade cautiously ahead of the U.S. GDP and the speech from Yellen. France's CAC 40 and the German DAX are both up 0.5%, while London's FTSE 100 has shed 0.4%.

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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