U.S. stocks are trading cautiously lower ahead of the bell, as
Wall Street awaits the government's highly anticipated nonfarm
payrolls report. Ahead of the data -- which is expected to show
roughly 60,000 jobs added in September -- news from overseas has
also cast a gloomy tone. Specifically, Moody's cut its ratings on a
slew of British banks, noting their reliance on the U.K.
government's support. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJIA) is in danger of
snapping its winning streak
, with the blue-chip barometer lingering 41 points below fair
In earnings news, Illumina (ILMN - 39.93) last night reported
preliminary third-quarter revenue of $235 million, well short of
analysts' expectations for $278 million. "In the quarter, we saw
what we believe to be an unprecedented slowdown in purchasing due
to uncertainties in research funding and overall economic
conditions, as well as a temporary excess of sequencing capacity in
the market," explained President and CEO Jay Flatley. The genetic
analysis specialist also suspended its fiscal 2011 financial
guidance, citing those very same "market uncertainties" as the
catalyst. ILMN intends to provide further details when it reports
its full third-quarter results after the close on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
At last check, ILMN is set to start the session with a 29%
Elsewhere, AngioDynamics (ANGO - 14.27) said its fiscal
first-quarter profit fell 27% to $1.4 million, or 5 cents per
share, from its year-ago earnings of $1.9 million, or 8 cents per
share. On an adjusted basis, ANGO earned 8 cents per share, while
revenue improved 5.7% to $54.4 million. The results fell roughly in
line with expectations, as analysts were looking for a profit of 8
cents per share on $53.9 million in revenue. The firm also backed
its forecast for adjusted full-year earnings of 41 cents to 49
cents per share, encompassing Wall Street's view for a profit of 43
cents per share.
Finally, ServiceSource International (SREV - 13.35) last night
raised its third-quarter and full-year sales guidance.
Specifically, the software company said it now expects
third-quarter revenue of more than $49 million, compared to its
previous projections for sales between $45 million and $46 million.
For the full year, SREV forecast revenue of more than $195 million,
up from its prior guidance for sales of $190 to $192 million. Ahead
of the bell, the shares of SREV are pointed 12% higher.
Today's earnings docket will feature a report from Material
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
We'll round out the week with the Labor Department's nonfarm
payrolls report for September, though the Street will also digest
wholesale inventories and consumer credit for August.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 934,752 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
641,683 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.69, while the 21-day moving average was 0.72.
On the other hand, traders in Europe seem a little jittery at
midday. A negative note from Moody's helped to spark some anxiety,
after the firm downgraded its ratings on 12 U.K. financial firms
and nine Portuguese banking institutions. Additionally, unconfirmed
reports indicate that France and Germany are at odds over how to
shore up battered European banks, with talks expected to continue
into the weekend. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 0.3%, the
German DAX is down almost 0.1%, and London's FTSE 100 is trading
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading modestly lower this morning, with the
U.S. dollar index down 0.2% at last check. Elsewhere, crude futures
have pared their recent gains, with the front-month contract down
0.3% to trade near $82.33 per barrel. Gold futures, on the other
hand, are headed for their third straight win. At last look, the
malleable metal has tacked on $3.60, or 0.2%, to flirt with
$1,656.80 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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