Opening View: DJIA Futures Falter Ahead of Economic Data


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) once again flirted with its 2010 highs in the 11,250 region on Monday. And though the blue-chip barometer's rally eventually fizzled, the Dow still posted its first close above the 11,150 level since May 3. That same trepidation that turned stocks away from fresh annual highs is lingering this morning, as futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading roughly 14 points and 2 points below fair value, respectively. Traders remain cautious ahead of economic reports on consumer confidence and housing prices. Look for the DJIA to remain between support at the 11,100 level and resistance near 11,250. The SPX, meanwhile, has support at 1,180, and resistance near 1,195.

In earnings news, Ford Motor Co. ( F ) said that its third-quarter net income rose to $1.7 billion, or 43 cents per share. Excluding items, net income totaled 48 cents per share in the latest period. Revenue fell slightly to $29 billion from $30.3 billion. Wall Street analysts expected net income of 38 cents per share on revenue of $27.9 billion. "This was another strong quarter and we continue to gain momentum," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally. "The key drivers for improvement in 2011 will be our growing product strength, a gradually strengthening economy and an unrelenting focus on improving the competitiveness of all our operations."

Elsewhere, Texas Instruments ( TXN ) reported a third-quarter profit of $859 million, or 71 cents per share, compared with a profit of $538 million, or 42 cents per share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 69 cents per share on revenue of $3.7 billion.

Finally, Coach Inc. ( COH ) posted a first-quarter profit of $188.9 million, or 63 cents per share, as sales rose to $911.7 million from $761.4 million. The company said it's "well positioned for the upcoming holiday season and the balance of the fiscal year." It said it also remains "confident" in its growth prospects and ability to drive sales and earnings at a double-digit percentage pace. Analysts were looking for a profit of 55 cents per share on sales of $845.7 million.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, AK Steel ( AKS ), ArcelorMittal ( MT ), Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY), DuPont (DD), Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB), Lexmark International Inc. (LXK), U.S. Steel Corp. (X), Under Armour Inc. (UA), Valero Energy Corp. (VLO), Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), Massey Energy Co., (MEE), NetGear Inc. (NTGR), and Novellus Systems Inc. (NVLS) will release their quarterly reports today. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The Case-Shiller home price index for August and October's consumer confidence index are on tap today. Tomorrow, September's durable goods orders, September's new home sales, and the weekly report on U.S. petroleum supplies are slated for release. Thursday offers up the usual report on weekly initial jobless claims, while Friday rounds out the week with an advance look at third-quarter gross domestic product, October's Chicago purchasing managers' index, and the final reading for the October University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,220,092 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 771,958 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.63, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.60.

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

Overseas Trading

Overseas trading is in poor shape this morning, as only one of the 10 foreign indexes that we track is in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of 0.37%. In Asia, regional markets were stuck in a rut, finishing flat to lower following a session-long trading range. Of note, Japanese stocks finished mostly lower, as the yen pressured exporters by remaining near a 15-year high against the dollar. In Europe, regional indexes were pressured by the basic resources sector after ArcelorMittal ( MT ) forecast weakness for the group. Meanwhile, UBS (UBS) led financials lower after reporting a disappointing quarterly report.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. dollar has found a bit of a floor this morning, as the greenback is headed higher versus most of its foreign competitors, with the U.S. Dollar Index gaining 0.13% to 77.21 this morning. However, those gains could be short-lived, as the Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to announce further quantitative easing at next week's meeting. Both gold and crude futures are struggling this morning, with yesterday's gains and the dollar's bounce creating a bit of turbulence. At last check, gold futures had slipped $2.80 to trade at $1,336.10 an ounce in London, while the December crude contract has added a nickel to $82.57 per barrel in electronic trading.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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This article appears in: Investing , Options
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