The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 144 points on
Thursday, ending the bulls' attempt to regain control and take the
market higher. The DJIA is headed into the weekend perched on
support at its 10-week moving average, with additional support near
10,250. This region is home to a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the
Dow's April 26 high and its July 2 low. Meanwhile, the S&P 500
Index (SPX) is hovering just above technical support in the 1,070
region. Heading into the open, futures on the DJIA and the SPX are
trading about 58 points and 6.9 points below fair value,
respectively, indicating that we could see the market test the
aforementioned support levels in early trading. Finally, there are
signs that bearish sentiment is reaching elevated levels, with the
American Association of Individual Investors
survey revealing that 42.47% of those polled are bearish on the
market, versus 30.11% bullish. These are the highest bearish and
lowest bullish readings since July 8.
In equity news, J.M. Smucker Co. (
) reported first-quarter earnings of $102.9 million, or 86 cents
per share, as revenue slipped to $1.04 billion. Analysts were
looking for a profit of 96 cents per share. The company also lifted
its 2011 sales growth outlook to "slightly ahead" of its original
estimate for 3% growth due to recent pricing moves. It expects to
earn $4.50 to $4.60 per share for the full year.
Elsewhere, Hewlett-Packard Co. (
) reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $1.8 billion, or 75
cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.7 billion, or 69
cents per share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $30.7
billion, up from $27.6 billion. Adjusted income was $1.08 per
Finally, Dell Inc. (
) reported a second-quarter profit of $545 million, or 28 cents per
share, on $15.5 billion in sales, compared with earnings of $472
million, or 24 cents per share on revenue of $12.8 billion in the
same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items, Dell would have
earned $629 million, or 32 cents per share. The consensus estimate
was for 30 cents per share on revenue of $15.2 billion.
Live From San Francisco
: Senior Equities Analyst Andrea Kramer is live blogging from the
Schaeffer's booth at the San Francisco Money Show this week. If you
didn't catch last night's post, you missed out on Steve Forbes and
his three-step approach for resuscitating the American economy,
including his opinion on the U.S. dollar, the federal tax code, and
to check it out.
On the earnings front, AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (
) and Hormel Foods Corp. (
) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings report today.
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
There are no major economic reports scheduled for release today.
Looking ahead to next week, Monday is also devoid of reports, while
Tuesday offers up July's existing home sales data. On Wednesday,
July's durable goods orders, new home sales, and the weekly report
on U.S. petroleum supplies will hit the Street. Weekly initial
jobless claims will arrive on Thursday, while Friday rounds out the
week with a second look at second-quarter U.S. gross domestic
product and the final reading on the University of Michigan's
August consumer sentiment index.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,179,244 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
884,513 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.75, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.63.
**The volume data shown above is from the Nasdaq and NYSE
exchanges only. It does not include regional volume activity,
which means that other daily volume quotes you see may be
Overseas trading looks abysmal this morning, as none of the 10
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of
1.10%. In Asian trading, Japanese shares erased their gains for the
week, plunging roughly 2% as the dollar remains weak against the
yen, keeping the cost of exports for the country high. Meanwhile,
Chinese markets dropped after Beijing announced new
property-tightening measures, with the Ministry of Land and
Resources saying it will crack down on land hoarding and misuse by
property developers. Markets are broadly lower in Europe as well,
with economic concerns and falling crude prices applying pressure
to commodities-related stocks.
Currencies and Commodities
Safe-haven buying is the name of the game this week in
currencies and commodities, with the U.S. dollar heading for its
second winning week in a row. However, the U.S. Dollar Index is
still facing resistance at its 10-week moving average, near 83.23.
In pre-market trading the index is up 0.75% at $83.06. Commodities,
meanwhile, are struggling under the weight of a rising greenback.
Most notably, oil prices are taking a beating due, not only to the
rising dollar, but also because of the recent round of weak
economic data. In electronic trading, the front-month crude
contract is down $1.06 at $73.71 per barrel - a six-week low.
Finally, gold prices are pulling back from a yesterday's seven-week
high near $1,240. In London, the malleable metal has slipped $2.90
to $1,232.50 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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