Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Lower; Oil Skyrockets

How To Choose The Right Option

Dec 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are lower -- and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) could snap its longest winning streak since 2014 -- even as oil prices rally to their highest point in over a year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and several non-OPEC states agreed to participate in a global production cut, and so far, oil futures have tacked on a whopping 4.6%, with January-dated crude futures now at $53.89 per barrel. Stock traders are also looking ahead to this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, where it is expected that the Fed will mandate its first interest rate increase in a year.

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


Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are about 30 points below fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,034,013 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 543,691 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.53, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.59.
  2. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is set to rise 5.6% at the open, as oil stocks rally with crude futures. Even before today, CHK had tacked on more than 45% since the U.S. presidential election, and is currently set to open at a new annual high above the critical $8 mark.
  3. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) is set to plummet 13.3% at the bell -- after earlier being halted -- after the resignation of the firm's CEO and CFO. It's been a rough year for the biotech stock, which even before today's drop sat down more than 30% since the beginning of the year.
  4. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) is up 4.1% in pre-market trading, following news that rival Ophthotech Corp's (NASDAQ:OPHT) macular degeneration drug, Fovista, failed to meet primary endpoints during its Phase 3 trial. The combination of Fovista with Novartis AG's (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) Lucentis -- a primary competitor of REGN's Eyelea-- was not more effective than Lucentis alone.
  5. The week begins with the release of the Treasury budget. On the earnings front, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR), Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM), and VeriFone (PAY) are set to report.

Buzz Stocks Dec 12

Overseas Trading

A sell-off in China dominated market headlines in Asia, as the Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.5% -- its biggest single-day drop since June. Weighing on Chinese stocks was late-Friday news that the nation's insurance regulator cracked down on Evergrande Life for speculative trading, as well as hints that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may revise Washington's favorable position toward the "one China" principle. Hong Kong's Hang Seng traced a similar bearish trajectory, diving 1.4%. On the other hand, Japan's Nikkei popped 0.8% on a weaker yen, while South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1%, even after Seoul's finance minister warned over the weekend that the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye could damage economic sentiment.

Despite strong gains in crude oil prices, stocks in Europe are mostly lower, as traders take a cautious approach ahead of the FOMC rate decision on Wednesday, and digest news that Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will be the country's next prime minister. Separately, German Federal Bank President and European Central Bank (ECB) member Jens Weidmann said the Italian government could bail out banks. Currently, London's FTSE 100 is down 0.4%, the German DAX is off 0.1%, and France's CAC 40 is more or less flat.

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