Dow 13K Remains in Play

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Looks like the steam has run out of Wall Street's sail, with all three major market indexes set to start the session modestly lower. The whipsaw week is not over yet, though, and a glut of data remains on today's docket that could emerge as potential movers. Heading into this Friday the 13th session, wary traders will be keeping a trained eye on:

  • key technical levels for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) , and the broader S&P 500 Index ( SPX )
  • domestic economic data, in the form of the consumer price index ( CPI ) , as well as the consumer sentiment index
  • China's slowing growth
Among equities in focus, Google (GOOG ) has given shareholders an unusual dividend, while an announcement from banking giant JPMorgan (JPM ) unofficially kicked off the start of earnings season for financial firms.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 1,441,158 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 741,029 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.51, while the 21-day moving average was 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is on the rebound, trading 0.2% higher at $79.44.
  • Conversely, crude oil has pulled back , with oil for May delivery down 0.2% at $103.90 per barrel.
  • Gold futures are pointed south, as well, with the malleable metal last seen 0.3% lower at $1,675.10 an ounce.

Currencies and commodities

In earnings news, Google (GOOG - 651.01) reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, up 61% from $1.80 billion, or $5.51 per share, in the comparable quarter of 2011. Excluding items, earnings came in at $10.08 per share, compared to $8.08 per share in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue rose 24% to $10.65 billion, while traffic acquisition costs climbed to $2.51 billion from $2.04 billion in the previous year. Net revenue arrived at $8.14 billion. By comparison, analysts' expectations called for a profit of $9.65 per share on sales of $8.15 billion. The company also announced that its stock dividend proposal was unanimously approved by its board of directors, with existing shareholders set to receive shares of Class C non-voting capital stock. The move effectively amounts to a 2-for-1 stock split, without diminishing the voting power of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. GOOG is up 0.3% ahead of the bell.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - 44.84) this morning said its first-quarter profit fell 3.1% to $5.38 billion from last year's $5.56 billion. Thanks to a decline in outstanding shares, JPM's per-share profit rose to $1.31 from $1.28, while revenue edged up 6.3% to $27.42 billion. The results easily beat analysts' expectations for earnings of $1.18 per share on $24.68 billion in sales. JPM has pulled back 0.6% in pre-market trading

Earnings and Economic Data

The week wraps up with the CPI and the mid-April Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index . Infosys ( INFY ) , Shaw Communications ( SJR ), and Wells Fargo (WFC) will all take turns in the earnings confessional. Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.

Overseas Trading

The major European benchmarks are attempting to claw out of the red at midday, as China's GDP miss prompted early selling. Additionally, traders were spooked by data showing that Spanish banks have been leaning heavily on funding from the European Central Bank (ECB) of late. However, a well-received report from U.S. financial giant JPMorgan Chase has helped equities claw back from their intraday lows. At last look, the French CAC 40 is off 0.9%, the German DAX is down 0.7%, and London's FTSE 100 is 0.5% lower.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations .

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

Every morning, our research staff analyzes the prior day and the overnight markets, and monitors the morning wires to give you an accurate preview of the day to come. If you enjoyed today's edition of Opening View, sign up here for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the opening bell.



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: CBOE , CPI , INFY , SJR , SPX

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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