Opening View: DJIA Futures Hold Steady Ahead of Economic Data

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) suffered a sharp sell-off on Tuesday, as complacency gave way to profit taking amid overseas debt pressures. Today should pick up the pace a bit, however, as jobless claims and weekly U.S. petroleum supplies are on tap. Still, investors remain cautious, as futures on the DJIA and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading only about 7 points and 1 point above fair value, respectively. Traders should continue to keep their eyes focused overseas today, as European debt concerns and a spike in China's trade surplus in September are driving sentiment outside of Wall Street. Heading into the open, support for the DJIA has shifted to the 11,300 region, with potential resistance in the 11,400-11,450 region. As for the SPX, support lies at 1,210, with resistance near 1,220.

In equity news, International Game Technology ( IGT ) posted a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $20 million or 7 cents per share, up from a loss of $29 million or 10 cents per share, last year. On an adjusted basis, the company would have earned $53 million or 18 cents per share. Revenue came in at $496 million. Wall Street was expecting a profit of 19 cents per share on revenue of $496 million.

Elsewhere, MBIA Inc. ( MBI ) reported a third-quarter net loss of $213 million, or $1.06 per share. Last year, the firm lost $728 million, or $3.50 per share. MBIA said its adjusted pre-tax loss was $68 million in the latest period. Chief Financial Officer Chuck Chaplin said insured losses continued to moderate in the third quarter, versus the same periods of 2008 and 2009.

Finally, Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA ) reported a third-quarter loss of $34.9 million, or 38 cents per share, compared with a loss of $4.6 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales came in at $31.2 million, down from $45.5 million, a year ago. Analysts were looking for a loss of 50 cents per share with sales of $31.4 million.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, Maidenform Brands Inc. ( MFB ), Macy's Inc. ( M ), Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL), Sara Lee Corp. (SLE), and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) will release their quarterly reports today. Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The Street will receive the usual weekly report on crude inventories today, along with the September trade balance figures and the weekly initial jobless claims report. Friday rounds out the week with the University of Michigan's first reading on November consumer sentiment.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,628,409 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 921,560 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.57, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.58.

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 largely negative this morning, with only two of the 10 foreign indexes that we track in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of 0.17%. Japan was one of the few bright spots in Asian trading, with the Nikkei closing at a four-month high on strength in the banking sector. However, worries about policy tightening in Beijing weighed heavily on stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, weakness in the banking sector and concerns about sovereign debt has European markets trading broadly lower.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. dollar remains front and center today, with the greenback gaining ground on the euro in the wake of renewed concerns for European debt. What's more, the dollar edged fractionally higher versus the Japanese yen. At last check, the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.28% at 77.67. Due to their typically inverse relationship with the dollar, gold and crude futures are headed lower this morning. In electronic trading, crude for December delivery has fallen 14 cents to $86.58 per barrel, while gold futures are off $10.90 at $1,399.20 an ounce in London.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations .

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

Every morning, our research staff analyzes the prior day and the overnight markets, and monitors the morning wires to give you an accurate preview of the day to come. If you enjoyed today's edition of Opening View, sign up here for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the opening bell.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: IGT , M , MBI , MFB , TSLA

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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