Dow Higher as Optimism Builds Ahead of Earnings, Fed

First-quarter earnings season unofficially kicks off tonight

Apr 8, 2015 at 8:27 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is looking to erase all of yesterday's modest losses, as traders take a glass-half-full approach to today's market-moving events. First up are the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, due at 2 p.m. ET. Additionally, first-quarter earnings season unofficially gets underway after the close when aluminum giant Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) unveils its results. Meanwhile, the energy sector could garner some attention today, after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) said it would acquire BG Group for roughly $70 billion.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are about 22 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 689,156 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 409,014 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.59, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.66.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.3% at 97.55.
  • Crude oil is on pace to give back some of yesterday's gains, off 2.4% at $52.67 per barrel.
  • Gold is 0.2% lower at $1,207.70 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today, the weekly crude inventories report and the FOMC's meeting minutes are slated for release. AA's report marks the unofficial start to first-quarter earnings season, while Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Family Dollar (FDO), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), and Rite Aid (RAD) are also set to announce quarterly results. To see what else is on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian benchmarks gained ground today, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng returning from holiday with a 3.8% pop. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.9%, thanks to a merger-inspired rally in railway issues CSR and China CNR. Japan's Nikkei, meanwhile, tacked on 0.8%, after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) maintained its current monetary policy, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.6%.

Markets in Europe are mixed at midday, ahead of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.5% as traders cheer Royal Dutch Shell's planned acquisition of BG Group, and the French CAC 40 is flirting with a 0.04% lead. The German DAX, meanwhile, is off 0.3% following a drop in factory orders.

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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