Ahead of the bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and
the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) are on pace to
pare some of last week's gains
. Traders appear hesitant to make any major moves, with little in
the way of economic and earnings reports on today's docket. Wall
Street is keeping an anxious eye on Apple (APPL ), with rumors
swirling about the results of a 9 a.m. conference call between CEO
Tim Cook, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, and investors
to discuss plans for its $100-billion stockpile of cash. Against
this light-news backdrop, the DJIA is set to drop 18 points, while
the SPX is looking at a more modest 2-point decline.
In equities news, LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK - 4.90) this morning
said it now expects fourth-quarter revenue to arrive between $440
million and $450 million, down from its previous estimate for $440
million to $520 million in sales. By comparison, analysts are
projecting $431.8 million in revenue. The downward revision comes
amid lower estimates for wafer shipments, with the chip maker
forecasting quarterly shipments of 215 megawatts (
) to 220 MW. LDK is scheduled to release its full fourth-quarter
earnings report on Thursday, April 12. LDK is up 0.4% in pre-market
In earnings news, InterOil Corporation (IOC - 58.55) swung to a
fourth-quarter profit of $13.2 million, or 27 cents per share, from
last year's loss of $34.8 million, or 76 cents per share. Thanks to
improving sales from both IOC's midstream and downstream refining
divisions, overall revenue jumped 49% to $289.6 million. Analysts,
meanwhile, were calling for a profit of 2 cents per share on $817
million in sales.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from Adobe
), China Mass Media (
), and Focus Media (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
A flurry of housing data hits the Street this week. The National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index kicks
things off today, followed by Tuesday's report on housing starts
and building permits. Wednesday's docket features the Mortgage
Bankers Association (
) mortgage index and existing home sales, in addition to the weekly
update on crude inventories. On Thursday, we'll see the latest data
on initial and continuing jobless claims, the Conference Board's
index of leading economic indicators, and the Federal Housing
Finance Agency (FHFA) home price index. A week chock-full of
economic data wraps up on Friday with new home sales.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 2,008,313 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
939,3638 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.47, while the 21-day moving average was 0.63.
It was a mixed session in Asia today, as traders kept a wary eye
on lackluster Chinese data. A weekend report showed home prices
sliding in January, which applied pressure to property stocks.
However, strength in resource issues helped push Shanghai to a
positive finish. Elsewhere, Japanese banks rallied after a positive
note from Moody's, with the ratings agency giving a thumbs-up to
the central bank's dollar funding plans. By the close, South
Korea's Kospi climbed 0.6%, China's Shanghai Composite tacked on
0.2%, Japan's Nikkei edged up 0.1%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost
Meanwhile, European equities are lingering south of breakeven.
Banks are among the notable laggards, as traders pull some profits
off the table following recent gains. Automakers have also taken a
turn south, with BMW leading the way after Goldman Sachs booted the
stock from its "conviction buy" roster. At last look, the French
CAC 40 is down 0.7%, the German DAX is 0.6% lower, and London's
FTSE 100 has shed 0.4%.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar is trading near breakeven this morning, with the
greenback last seen at $79.77. Crude oil has
, with the front-month contract down 0.3% at $107.23 per barrel.
Gold futures are pointed south, as well, with the malleable metal
0.1% lower at $1,654.40 per barrel.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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