Dow Jones Industrial Average Lower Ahead of Jobs, Yellen

Jobless claims and Fed Chair Yellen Are the Highlights of Today's Docket

Apr 2, 2015 at 8:34 AM
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With the holiday-shortened week winding down, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are signaling a slow start once again, putting the blue-chip index at risk of deepening its week-to-date loss. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also both on pace to finish lower on the week. As far as economic news goes, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be delivering a speech today, with weekly jobless claims figures also being released. However, traders may be wary of making any drastic moves today, as March payroll numbers are due out tomorrow, while Wall Street is on holiday.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are 11.2 points below fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 761,303 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 580,431 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio shot up to 0.76, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.66.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index fell 0.4% to 97.84.
  • Crude oil has lost 2.7% to fall to $48.74 per barrel.
  • Gold is off 0.3% at $1,204.60 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's docket is highlighted by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech at the St. Louis Fed community development conference. International trade figures, weekly jobless claims, and factory orders will be released. On the earnings front, CarMax (KMX) will report. Markets will be closed tomorrow for Good Friday. However, the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report will be released, and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak. To see what's on next week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian bourses finished higher, with weak U.S. economic data signaling a potentially later-than-expected hike in interest rates. Traders were also cheering an increase in spending power for China's social security fund. Japan's Nikkei was by far the biggest gainer, with a 1.5% lead. Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up 0.8% to land at a four-month high, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.4% to hit a multi-year peak, while South Korea's Kospi squeaked out a 0.03% gain.

Stocks are little changed in Europe, with some traders remaining hesitant ahead of jobs data from the U.S. and the long weekend. London's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 were up 0.05% and 0.03%, respectively, at last check. The German DAX, though, was off 0.1%.

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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