Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Dip as Jobs Data Disappoints

Buy Puts or Short Stock? Plus, 3 M&A Movers

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 7, 2015 at 9:08 AM

It's been a rough week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). The downside is expected to continue in today's session, after the Labor Department said the U.S. created 215,000 jobs last month -- fewer than economists had forecast. This wraps up a week of soft jobs data, and creates even more uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve's interest-rate timeline. Specifically, the labor market is one metric the central bank has been watching closely to determine whether or not the economy can withstand a September rate hike. At last check, the blue-chip barometer was modestly lower in electronic trading, and on pace to add to its 1.5% week-to-date deficit -- and extend its longest losing streak of 2015.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

And now, on to the numbers…

150807ovfutures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are nearly 38 points below fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. Stocks in China rose today as traders grew optimistic that an inflow of funds could potentially be released into the market.
  2. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) popped 10% yesterday -- moving north of its 40-day moving average for the first time since July 27. In the options pits, calls outpaced puts by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, with eight of VIX's 10 most active options expiring in the August series.
  3. After pocketing a pretty penny with his former Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) stake, Carl Icahn has turned his attention to the natural gas sector. Specifically, the activist unveiled an 8.2% stake in Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:LNG) -- sending the shares up 5% ahead of the bell -- and could possibly seek a board seat.
  4. To the presumable dismay of option traders, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) is down nearly 3% ahead of the bell -- and on track to notch a new two-year low -- in the wake of its quarterly earnings report. Specifically, the online coupon concern's second-quarter sales came in below the consensus estimate and the company forecast lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue.
  5. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stole the show at last night's debate in Cleveland. The colorful candidate was the sole person on stage who said that while he'd "respect the person" who won the Republican nomination, he would not rule out a third-party run.

150807OV_Buzz

Market Statistics

  • Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST), and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL) were among the equities with unusual call and put activity on Thursday. For the entire list, read Unusual Options Activity: VIAB, MNST, HLF, and MPEL.
  • The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 835,307 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 684,295 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.82, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.68.
  • For info on currencies, commodities, trading volume, market breadth, and more, read Stock Market Stats for August 6, 2015.

Earnings and Economic Data

The highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report hit the Street today. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX), Blue Nile Inc (NILE), Cablevision Systems (CVC), Hershey Co (HSY), Horizon Pharma (HZNP), and Sothebys (BID) all report earnings. To see what's on next week's agenda, click here.

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