E WhatsTrading Recap - 03/02/2015

The S&P 500 rallied at the open and has been chopping around aimlessly on light volume since that time. With an hour to trade, the index is up 8.64 points to 2113.14.

The NASDAQ is getting a bit more media attention after topping 5000 for the first time since the dot com bubble.

Treasury bonds are weak, however, ahead of this week’s busy economic calendar, which concludes with Jobs Data Friday. The yield on the benchmark ten-year is 2.085% from just 1.65% a month ago.

Energy (XLE) is lagging as crude oil prices made a roundtrip Monday. After hitting a morning high of $51.04, crude is off a nickel to $49.70. Gold shed $8 to $1205.

The Utility (XLU) sector is falling to multi-month lows and the biggest loser among the nine SPDR sector ETFs. Beyond that and energy, however, the other seven sector ETFs are holding gains – led by healthcare (XLV) and consumer discretionary (XLY) names.

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is probing 2015 lows after dipping .26 to 13.08.

Options volumes are also running at their slowest pace of the year. Projected volume is less than 12 million contracts. That’s 30% less volume than the first day of March 2014. Average daily volume for February was 15.9 million contracts and a decline of 11.2% from January.

The decline is being seen across stock, index, and ETF options.

A few names seeing increased options action include Lumber Liquidators (LL), Abercrombie (ANF), and Best Buy (BBY). 

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