Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Higher Ahead of Yellen Speech

The Delivery Stock Chasing All-Time Highs Ahead of Earnings

Dec 19, 2016 at 9:13 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are pointed slightly higher this morning, as traders look to an afternoon speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen for clues about the Federal Reserve's next move -- including next year's expected trio of interest rate hikes. Traders are also keeping an eye on the Dow's dance with the key 20,000 level, which eluded the stock index by just 35 points last week. Elsewhere, the flash reading of the Markit services purchasing managers index (PMI) will be released later this morning.

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

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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are nearly 24 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,111,475 call contracts traded on quadruple-witching Friday -- the most since Nov. 14 -- compared to 683,760 put contracts -- the most since Nov. 10. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.62, while the 21-day moving average fell to 0.58.
  2. Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) is set to pop 2.5% at the bell, after the company delivered an earnings win, with year-over-year revenue rising 14.6%. The news should delight recent LEN option buyers.
  3. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 0.1% in electronic trading -- backing down from a familiar region -- after the company reported that it will appeal the European Union's (EU) decision to force AAPL to repay nearly $14 billion in back taxes to Ireland. AAPL's legal council is arguing that AAPL was unfairly targeted, and that the investigation into the tax breaks was not conducted with due diligence.
  4. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is up 0.3% in pre-market trading, after the President-elect's favorite social media company announced it would be introducing a new, pared-down version of its Vine platform next month, instead of killing the offshoot entirely. Vine users will still be able to take the six-second videos that have attracted users, but the Vine sharing platform will be eliminated, so users will have to share elsewhere.
  5. Today's earnings and economic calendar is relatively bare.

Buzz Stocks Dec 19

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia struggled to start the week. Japan's Nikkei finished a hair below breakeven amid a strengthening yen -- down 0.05% -- snapping a nine-day win streak, despite better-than-anticipated trade data, ahead of tomorrow's Bank of Japan policy review. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite gave back 0.2% after the rate of new home price increases cooled due to government intervention, while bonds sold off. Rounding things out, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively.

European markets are broadly lower, with commodity stocks being especially hard-hit after the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) predicted China's economic growth will slow in 2017. Among the individual bourses, Germany's DAX is fractionally lower, even after the Ifo business climate index reached its highest level since February 2014. Among German stocks in the spotlight is Deutsche Bank, which is tanking after a $37 million settlement with the U.S. over the firm's "dark pool" trading practices. France's CAC 40 is also down -- albeit by just 0.1% -- while London's FTSE 100 is bucking the downward trend, up 0.1%.

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