Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures in the Red as Oil Slumps

Micron's Scary-Bad Chart; Plus, Friday's Small-Cap Dud

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 17, 2015 at 8:59 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is signaling a lower start, following last week's volatile price action. The Federal Reserve -- and the possibility of a September interest-rate hike -- will dominate headlines this week, with the minutes from July's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting due on Wednesday. Ahead of the highly anticipated event, traders will get to mull over updates on manufacturing and housing, hoping to gain further insight into the strength of the economy. Additionally, the energy sector will remain in focus, with crude headed toward new six-year lows after the world's third-biggest economy showed signs of contracting.


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


  • pair of technical "lowlights" had bears piling on Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU).
  • How this small-cap ended up among the biggest losers on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT).
  • Labor unrest sent this metal maker to a multi-year low, while this biotech exploded to record highs on drug data.
  • Plus … 5 things you need to know this morning -- including stocks making waves, what's happening overseas, and the latest in unusual option activity.

And now, on to the numbers…



Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are more than 47 points below fair value.


5 Things You Need to Know Today


  1. Stocks in China got a lift from a boost from the airline sector, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in on Greece's pending aid package.
  2. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) settled lower on Friday, dropping below its 10- and 20-day moving averages. Meanwhile, Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner pointed out that realized volatility continues to churn -- despite the Dow seeing an unusually high number of 200-point intraday swings.
  3. After making headlines last week following the $9 billion sale of its healthcare loan business, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is reportedly on the cusp of gaining approval from the European Union (EU) for its nearly $14 bid for Alstom SA's energy unit. The EU has previously expressed concern about the lack of competition the merger would leave. GE is down 0.1% ahead of the bell.
  4. Mega-retailer, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been in the bullish limelight since a breakout earnings report last month, but the company is generating some negative buzz this morning in the wake of a scathing New York Times report on working conditions for Amazon's white-collar ranks. AMZN is off 0.2% ahead of the bell.
  5. Hedge funds have begun revealing their second-quarter stakes in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) amid the stock's recent technical troubles. David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, for example, lowered its stake in the iPhone purveyor, while David Tepper's Appaloosa Management LP and Cliff Asness' AQR Capital Management each increased their exposure. AAPL is up 0.1% in electronic trading.




Market Statistics

  • El Pollo Loco Holdings (NASDAQ:LOCO), King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) were among the equities with unusual call and put activity on Friday. For the entire list, read Unusual Options Activity: LOCO, KING, TGT, and WX.
  • The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 647,314 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 436,409 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.71.
  • For info on currencies, commodities, trading volume, market breadth, and more, read Stock Market Stats for August 14, 2015.

Earnings and Economic Data


The week begins with the Empire State manufacturing survey and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index data. Meanwhile, several energy names could be in focus, as the EnerCom Oil & Gas Conference kicks off. Turning to earnings, Agilent (A), Estee Lauder (EL), MasTec (MTZ), Real Industry (RELY), and Urban Outfitters (URBN) will report. To see what else is on this week's docket, click here.

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