Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Slip as Street Awaits Yellen

Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself?

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are slightly below fair value this morning, as stocks take a cautious approach ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) 2 p.m. ET policy decision and subsequent press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen. On the commodity front, oil prices are bouncing back from a rough session, with April-dated crude futures last seen 2.1% higher at $37.10 per barrel, after a group of 15 oil producers said they will meet next month to discuss a freeze in output. Elsewhere, the consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.2% last month, in line with estimates, the core CPI rose a bigger-than-expected 0.3%, and housing starts rose more than expected as single-family units hit a nine-year high.

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


Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are more than 24 points below fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today


  1. The Shanghai Composite notched another win on comments from China Premier Li Keqiang.
  2. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 602,936 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 512,890 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.85, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.69.  
  3. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) warned investors that it expects its first quarterly loss ever due to a recent rash of food-borne illnesses, and reported a 26% year-over-year plunge in same-store sales. The news prompted bearish brokerage notes at Maxim and Cowen, contributing to the restaurant stock's 4.5% pre-market deficit.
  4. Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) is pointed 3.6% higher ahead of the bell, after the software maker reported an earnings beat and upped its share buyback program by $10 billion. Wall Street is reacting positively, as no fewer than four analysts have raised their price targets on ORCL.
  5. Coal concern Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) said it may need to file for bankruptcy, after failing to make a $71.1 million interest payment on Tuesday. Ahead of the open, the shares have plummeted 37.6% -- a welcome development for at least one option bear.


Earnings and Economic Data

Industrial production and capacity utilization numbers are due out today, along with the regularly scheduled report on crude inventories. But Fed Chair Janet Yellen's 2:30 p.m. ET press conference will be the highlight of the day, as traders look for clues on rate-hike timing. (CTRP), FedEx (FDX), Guess (GES), Jabil Circuit (JBL), and Silver Wheaton (SLW) will step into the earnings confessional. To see what is else on this week's agenda, click here.

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