The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended its winning streak
at four in a row on Tuesday, closing a lackluster session with an
18-point loss. The blue chip barometer enters today trading above
support at the 10,500 level, though the Dow may test this region
early in today's trading, as futures on the DJIA are trading 15
points below fair value. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile,
finished its second consecutive session above its 200-day moving
average, despite following the Dow lower on Tuesday. That said, SPX
futures are indicating an opening loss of about 2.8 points, meaning
that the index could test this region shortly after the open.
Meanwhile, Wall Street will be closely watching for additional
moves out of Japan, after the country finally intervened in the
currency markets to halt the yen's meteoric rise versus the U.S.
dollar. Ripple effects from Japanese intervention have sent
commodities tied to the greenback sharply lower. As such, a
stronger-than-expected rise in U.S. petroleum supplies at 10:30
a.m. Eastern could sink the already struggling sector.
In equity news, Beazer Homes USA Inc. (
) lowered its new home orders guidance for the year, citing a
slower-than-expected improvement in orders. The company said it
needs to book 767 orders in the final quarter to match the
year-earlier total of 4,205. "Although housing affordability is at
record levels, prospective home buyers continue to exercise caution
in committing to a home purchase transaction," Beazer said. The
company has originally said that fiscal 2010 orders would be above
the previous year's level, despite the expiration of a home-buyer
tax credit in April.
Elsewhere, MasterCard Inc. (
) said that its board of directors approved a $1 billion Class A
common share repurchase program. The authorization is effective
immediately, the company said. "This stock repurchase program is
the result of a periodic review of our capital structure, and is
enabled by MasterCard's strong and consistent cash flow," Ajay
Banga, chief executive of MasterCard, said in a statement.
On the earnings front, CLARCOR Inc. (
) and The Dress Barn Inc. (
) are slated to release their quarterly earnings reports today.
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for more news as it breaks.
The New York Fed will release its report on September
manufacturing activity this morning, which will be accompanied by
August's industrial production and the weekly report on U.S.
petroleum supplies. We'll get the weekly report on new jobless
claims tomorrow, as well as the producer price index for August and
the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing report. Finally, the Labor
Department will deliver the August consumer price index on Friday,
while the University of Michigan will give its first peek at
consumer sentiment in September.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,290,557 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
787,495 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.61, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.62.
**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
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Overseas trading is mixed this morning, with Asian stocks
rallying in the wake of Japanese intervention in the currency
markets, while European shares are being dragged lower by falling
commodities. At last check, only four of the 10 foreign indexes
that we track were in positive territory, with a cumulative average
return of 0.04%. Japanese exporters surged after the yen pulled
back from 15-year highs versus the U.S. dollar. Finance Minister
Yoshihiko Noda confirmed intervention in the foreign-exchange
markets but didn't specify the amount of money involved. However,
the falling yen provided lift for the U.S. dollar, and,
consequently, drag for commodities. Already troubled by falling
German business-sentiment data, European markets are following
commodities-related stocks lower.
Currencies and Commodities
Following the intervention of Japanese authorities, the U.S.
dollar rebounded from 15-year lows versus the yen. The move helped
lift the greenback to ¥85.07 from yesterday's low of ¥82.85. The
U.S. Dollar Index was also pressured higher, rising 0.73% in
pre-market trading to hover near 81.67. Commodities, however, fell
following the dollar's rise. Gold futures have slipped $1.70 to
$1,270 an ounce, down from Tuesday's record high. Finally, crude
futures have been hit hard by the rally in the U.S. dollar, with
the lead contract off $1.04 to $76.79 per barrel.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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