Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Rise on Quadruple Witching Friday

Behind a 7-Figure Profit on Gold Options

Mar 17, 2017 at 9:06 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are above fair value, suggesting a modestly higher start for stocks on this quadruple witching Friday. The large-cap index is looking to keep hold of its slim weekly lead, after finishing yesterday's session lower on slipping oil prices and concerns over President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal, while Trump's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to be in focus today. Traders will digest data on industrial production and consumer sentiment later today, and next week's calendar is set to be rather quiet on the economic and earnings fronts, though several Fed officials -- including Janet Yellen -- are slated to speak. 

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

  • How a gold bug banked a 7-figure profit with options. 
  • 2 drug stocks making massive moves. 
  • Options players piled aboard as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) nabbed a new high. 
  • Plus, Adobe eyes new highs after earnings; Tiffany & Co. beats expectations; and a show of faith in Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Dow Futures March 17

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are 11.5 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 876,658 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 501,491 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio slipped to 0.57, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.62.
  2. Software stock Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) is up 5.4% ahead of the bell, on track to open at a fresh record high after reporting fiscal first-quarter earnings above expectations. In response, no fewer than 12 analysts have raised their price targets on the stock, while Wunderlich also upped its rating on ADBE to "buy" from "hold."
  3. Also pointed higher this morning, jeweler Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) beat earnings estimates despite previous reports of disappointing holiday sales, with the shares up 3.4% in pre-market trading. Should these gains materialize, the stock could see annual-high territory at the open. But the brokerage bunch has yet to weigh in, with more than half of following firms calling TIF a tepid "hold."
  4. After sustaining heavy losses so far this month, drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) is getting a slight bounce back today, on pace to add 3.8% at the open. Boosting the shares is news hedge fund ValueAct Capital upped its stake in VRX, purchasing some 3 million shares, while Valeant's CFO, Paul Herendeen, also reported buying 24,000 shares. The news comes just days after the exit of activist investor Bill Ackman sent the stock spiraling to nearly eight-year lows.
  5. On this quadruple witching expiration Friday, the latest industrial production numbers and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index will be released. A speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and a blue chip earnings report will highlight next week's calendar.

Buzz Stocks March 17

Overseas Trading

Stocks throughout Asia closed mixed in a light day of data. Investors are keeping a close eye on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to South Korea, with the countries expected to discuss ways to combat threats out of North Korea. In other geopolitical news out of the region, China promised to take "firm responsive measures" if Japan sends a warship into the South China Sea. Against this backdrop, China's Shanghai Composite ended the day with a 1% setback, though Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished up 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei, meanwhile, shed 0.4%. In South Korea, the Kospi added 0.7%.

Over in Europe, major stock indexes are posting modest gains at midday. In focus is a G-20 meeting in Germany, where some of the world's top bankers and financial officials will gather -- including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is expected to issue a stern warning over currency manipulation. Traders will also be keeping an eye on President Trump's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today in Washington. Investors also digested the first trade deficit out of the eurozone in roughly three years for January. At last check, France's CAC 40 was up 0.4%, the FTSE 100 was 0.2% higher, and Germany's DAX has added 0.1%. 

Stay on top of breaking stock market news with Schaeffer's Midday Market Check.


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