Bargain hunters are circling the Street, after five days of
selling in U.S. equities. All three major market indexes are
pointed north of breakeven, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
set to erase a large portion of Tuesday's massive
Traders have a slew of indicators to contend with today, including:
- the VIX, with the "
" testing the water in the 20 area, a key retracement level
- domestic economic reports in the form of import and export
Fed's Beige book
, and the latest in weekly crude inventories
Alcoa's (AA )
earnings release. Will the results provide a
for the broad markets?
Among equities in focus,
Standard Microsystems (SMSC )
also took its turn in the earnings confessional, while
Titan Machinery's (TITN )
results are prompting a pre-market price swing.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,501,006 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
1,054,591 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call
ratio arrived at 0.70, while the 21-day moving average was
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
has retreated this morning, with the greenback 0.4% lower at
is set to rebound
, with the front-month contract 0.6% higher at $101.58 per
, meanwhile, are churning near breakeven, with the malleable
metal trading at $1,660.60 an ounce.
In earnings news,
(AA - 9.32) posted a first-quarter profit of $94 million, or 9
cents per share, a 69% year-over-year drop from $308 million, or 27
cents per share. Excluding items, earnings arrived at 10 cents per
share. Revenue rose a slight 0.8% to $6.01 billion. The results
came in above analysts' expectations, with the Street calling for a
per-share loss of 4 cents on $5.77 billion in sales. AA is up 5.5%
in pre-market trading.
Standard Microsystems (SMSC - 24.32)
swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $4.1 million, or 19 cents
per share, down from a profit of $1.7 million, or 7 cents per
share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, earnings came
in at 5 cents per share, compared to 26 cents per share in the
previous year. Meanwhile, revenue fell by 11% to $89.9 million,
which SMSC attributed to weaker demand. Analysts, on average, were
expecting a loss of 17 cents per share on sales of $91.1 million.
Looking ahead, the company is forecasting current-quarter earnings
of 29 cents to 38 cents per share on revenue between $98 million
and $102 million. Wall Street, on the other hand, is predicting a
profit of just 27 cents on sales of $98 million.
Titan Machinery (TITN - 27.47)
banked a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $17.8 million, or 84 cents
per share, up 72% from its year-ago earnings of $10.4 million, or
57 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter surged 65% to $607
million, as gross margin edged up to 15.3% from 15.2%. The results
crushed analysts' expectations, which called for a profit of 53
cents per share on $439 million in revenue. For the full year
ahead, TITN anticipates earnings of $2.55 to $2.75 per share on
revenue between $1.95 billion and $2.1 billion. By contrast,
analysts were looking for a full-year profit of just $2.06 per
share on $1.68 billion in revenue. TITN is set to jump 20% right
out of the gate.
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's economic docket hits the Street with a bang, as
import and export prices
, the Federal Reserve's
weekly crude inventories
are all on tap. Adtran (
) and Apogee Enterprises (
) are slated to report earnings. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
European equities have muscled higher at midday, led by the
banking sector. Analysts at UBS today upgraded the group to
"overweight," citing attractive valuations and an expected
stabilization in earnings. Plus, traders have also been encouraged
by an earnings beat from aluminum heavyweight Alcoa. With investor
sentiment on the mend, bond yields for debt-strapped euro-zone
countries have retreated from their recent highs. At last look,
London's FTSE 100 is up 0.6%, the German DAX has advanced 1.3%, and
the French CAC 40 has tacked on 1.5%.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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