Opening View: DJIA Bulls Push for Fourth 100-Point Gain in a Row

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) soared to its third consecutive 100-point rally on Monday - a feat last accomplished on Jan. 2, 2009, and one that the DJIA has completed only eight times since 1997. During this three-day bullish binge, the Dow has added roughly 4%, while the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) has plunged some 11.4%. The blue-chip barometer is currently perched above potential support near 10,500, with resistance looming overhead near 10,600 (site of the Dow's June 21 high). Incidentally, the VIX is trading at a two-month low, below its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile, is perched above its 200-day moving average for the first time since June 21, as the broad-market index looks to leave the dregs of July in the rear-view mirror. While the SPX has potential support at its 200-day moving average and the 1,100 level, the index must still overcome its June high near 1,130. Heading into the open, Wall Street has a bullish bias ahead of a handful of key economic reports. Futures on the DJIA and the SPX are trading 34 points and 2.6 points above fair value, respectively. Can the Dow make it four in a row?

In earnings news, Du Pont ( DD ) reported second-quarter net income of $1.16 billion, or $1.26 per share. Excluding items, DD earned $1.17 per share, blowing past analyst expectations for earnings of 93 cents per share. Net sales climbed to $8.6 billion. "We grew sales across every segment," said CEO Ellen Kullman. The company lifted its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $2.90 to $3.05 per share, excluding significant items, from its previous range of $2.50 to $2.70 per share.

Elsewhere, BP plc ( BP ) reported a $17.2 billion loss in the second quarter, as it booked $32.2 billion in charges linked to the Gulf oil spill. BP also named Robert Dudley as its new chief executive, replacing Tony Hayward.

Finally, Office Depot Inc. ( ODP ) said that its second-quarter net loss narrowed to $18.7 million, or 7 cents per share. Excluding one-time costs related to restructuring, ODP earned 2 cents per share. Sales fell to $2.7 billion, from $2.8 billion. Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 17 cents per share on revenue of $2.75 billion.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, AK Steel Holding Corp. ( AKS ), CIT Group Inc. ( CIT ), Cummins Inc. ( CMI ), Domino's Pizza Inc. ( DPZ ), L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. ( LLL ), LCA-Vision Inc. ( LCAV ), Lexmark International Inc. ( LXK ), Lockheed Martin Corp. ( LMT ), United States Steel Corp. ( X ), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. ( TEVA ), Under Armour Inc. ( UA ), Valero Energy Corp. ( VLO ), Aetna Inc. ( AET ), AFLAC Inc. ( AFL ), Broadcom Corp. ( BRCM ), Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD ), CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. ( CBG ) Cephalon Inc. ( CEPH ), DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. ( DWA ), Fiserv Inc. ( FISV ), Massey Energy Co. ( MEE ) and Panera Bread Co. ( PNRA ) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings reports today. Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

On the economic front, we'll get the Case-Shiller home price index for May and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for July this morning, while Wednesday offers up the weekly report on U.S. petroleum supplies. On Thursday, we'll see reports on weekly initial jobless claims and the Fed's Beige Book. On Friday, we'll get the latest numbers on second-quarter gross domestic product, along with the Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index for July, and a final look at July consumer confidence as measured by Reuters and the University of Michigan.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 1,095,255 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 608,484 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.56, while the 21-day moving average slipped to 0.62.

Volatility indices

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

**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 higher.**

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

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Overseas Trading

Overseas trading has a bullish bias this morning, as seven of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of 0.46%. In Asian trading, regional indexes finished mixed, as investors locked in profits from a solid winning streak. Hong Kong's Hang Seng, in particular, extended its uptrend to six sessions in a row. In Japan, the country's big three banks led the region's modest gains after the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision agreed to broaden the rules regarding core capital requirements at banks. In Europe, the financial sector is leading a broad rally across the region after UBS and Deutsche Bank reported better-than-expected quarterly profits.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

There isn't much activity in dollar and commodities traders this morning, as many investors are in a holding pattern ahead of data on home prices and consumer confidence. The U.S. Dollar Index is hovering just above support at the 82 level heading into the open. The index has not closed a session below this level since April 30. Meanwhile, crude futures are hovering just above $79 per barrel, up 8 cents in pre-market trading. Oil prices have once again rallied into resistance in the $79-$80 per-barrel range, and could be poised to roll over from a double-top formation. Finally, gold futures have added 10 cents to trade at $1,187.10 in London. The malleable metal has lacked the buying strength to reclaim the psychologically important $1,200 level, with the region now providing stiff overhead resistance on a short-term basis.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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