After paring most of its losses in yesterday's session, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was able to maintain its foothold north of the crucial 13,000 mark.
This key technical level will remain in focus heading into today's
trading, with futures on the broad-market index pointed south.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
eked out a second daily close atop its 100-day moving average --
a feat not accomplished since late November. Will today's market
activity make it three in a row?
iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (
will once again test neckline support.
- According to Equities Analyst Bryan Sapp, "The
will be a hot one to watch today."
Among equities in focus, shorts reduced their bearish exposure on
Rackspace Hosting (RAX )
ahead of last night's announcement; options players picked up
pre-earnings calls on
Electronic Arts (EA )
; and, a top-line miss has
Fossil (FOSL )
staring at a steep post-earnings plunge.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 963,179 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 633,732
put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived
at 0.66, while the 21-day moving average was 0.65.
From the Trading Floor
Sapp explains, "
was the strongest sector yesterday, including
. Plus, tech stocks
reported earnings after last night's close."
American Association of Individual Investors
Investors Intelligence (II)
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is 0.2% higher this morning, last seen at $79.73.
continues to trek lower
, with crude for June delivery down 1.1% at $96.86 per
have pulled back 0.7% to trade at $1,627.60 an ounce.
In earnings news,
Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (RAX - 57.80)
said its first-quarter profit swelled 68% on a year-over-year
basis, arriving at $23.2 million, or 17 cents per share, while
revenue soared 31% to $301.4 million. The results were mixed, with
analysts calling for a per-share profit of 17 cents on $300.5
million in sales. Shorts interest backpedaled 7% in the latest
reporting period, but still accounts for a lofty 7.1% of the
stock's float. RAX is down 12% in pre-market trading.
Electronic Arts (EA - 15.13)
banked a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $400 million, or $1.20 per
share -- more than doubling its year-ago earnings -- as revenue
ramped up 26% to $1.37 billion. On an adjusted basis, EA netted 17
cents per share, while revenue declined 1.8% to $977 million. Wall
Street was expecting a profit of just 16 cents per share on $957.9
million in revenue. However, EA predicted an adjusted first-quarter
loss of 40 cents to 45 cents per share on revenue of $500 million
-- well short of the consensus estimate for a loss of 33 cents per
share on sales of $579.4 million. Traders on the International
Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (
), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) bought to open 2.56 calls for every
put during the previous 10 sessions. EA has pulled back 3.2% ahead
of the bell.
Fossil, Inc.'s (FOSL - 125.77)
first-quarter profit edged up 4.2% to $58.1 million, or 93 cents
per share. Revenue, meanwhile, rose 9.8% to $589.5 million.
Analysts had forecast earnings of 92 cents per share on $617.6
million in sales.
were popular on FOSL ahead of earnings, with the stock's
Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sitting at 1.36.
FOSL is on pace to start the session with a 19% plunge.
Earnings and Economic Data
There are no major economic reports slated for today, but
earnings action continues with results from
Walt Disney (
, Patriot Coal (
Quicksilver Resources (KWK)
, Hecla Mining (HL),
Demand Media (DMD)
, DirecTV (DTV),
, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ).
Asian markets ended mixed today, as jitters continued to linger
over political upheaval in Greece. Property stocks were a pocket of
weakness in Hong Kong, pressured by news that Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China halted mortgage discounts for first-time
buyers. However, stocks in Seoul and Tokyo recovered from Monday's
steep losses, taking a cue from Wall Street's post-election
resilience. By the close, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7%, South Korea's
Kospi advanced 0.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3%, and
China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.1%.
European equities are pointed mostly lower at midday, as Greece
remains a serious point of concern for investors. After the New
Democracy party failed to form a majority coalition, the
austerity-averse Syriza will now attempt to assemble its own
government. With Athens apparently at risk of losing its hard-won
bailout funding, traders seem none too impressed by a
stronger-than-forecast reading on German industrial production. At
last check, the French CAC 40 is down 0.9%, the German DAX is off
0.1%, and London's FTSE 100 has crept 0.2% higher.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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Open Interest Configurations
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