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
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
, and the broader
S&P 500 Index (
- domestic economic data, in the form of the
consumer price index (
, as well as the
consumer sentiment index
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
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) 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.
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is on the rebound, trading 0.2% higher at $79.44.
has pulled back
, with oil for May delivery down 0.2% at $103.90 per
are pointed south, as well, with the malleable metal last seen
0.3% lower at $1,675.10 an ounce.
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
, Shaw Communications (
Wells Fargo (WFC)
will all take turns in the earnings confessional. Keep your browser
for more news as it breaks.
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%
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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