key technical hurdle
On the sentiment front, a
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Global Research
yesterday noted that emerging market exposure among money managers
suffered its biggest decline in the survey's history. Commenting on
the report, Todd Salamone, Senior Vice President of Research,
noticed that the 50-day buy-to-open put/call volume ratio on the
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (
) had recently rolled over near the ratio's December 2010 peak.
Todd noted that the activity "does not look like hedge activity,
but rather speculative activity that has potentially climaxed," and
believes that this could have bullish implications for EEM.
In earnings news, Deere & Co. (
) posted a first-quarter profit of $513.7 million, or $1.20 per
share, as sales rose 27% to $6.12 billion. Wall Street analysts
were expecting a profit of 97 cents per share on revenue of $5.59
billion. Looking ahead, Deere said it sees second-quarter revenue
rising by 25% over the same quarter last year. For fiscal 2011, the
company is expecting net income of about $2.5 billion, compared to
the current consensus estimate of $2.37 billion.
After the close last night, Dell Inc. reported a fourth-quarter
profit of $927 million, or 48 cents per share, as revenue rose to
$15.69 billion from $14.9 billion a year ago. On an adjusted basis,
Dell said it earned 53 cents per share, blowing past Wall Street's
estimate for a profit of 36 cents per share. However, revenue came
in just shy of the consensus estimate for $15.75 billion. The
company also said that it expects revenue growth of 5% to 9% for
Outside of earnings, Comcast Corp. (
) announced that it is increasing its annual dividend by 19% to 45
cents per share. The dividend will be payable on April 27 to
shareholders of record as of April 6. The company also announced
plans to buy back $2.1 billion in stock by the end of 2011.
Finally, while the news leaked to the Street late in yesterday's
session, Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY) officially confirmed this morning
that it has reached a deal to buy Genzyme Corp. for $20.1 billion
in cash plus a contingent value right. The deal values GENZ at $74
per share. The acquisition has been approved by boards of both
companies, and is expected to close early in the second quarter of
On the earnings front, Nvidia (NVDA), NetApp (NTAP), Abercrombie
& Fitch (ANF), OfficeMax (OMX), and Genzyme (
) are slated to release their quarterly earnings reports. Keep your
for more news as it breaks.
Today offers up the latest word on January's housing starts and
building permits, the January producer price index (PPI), the twin
industrial production and capacity utilization reports for January,
the weekly U.S. petroleum supplies report, and the minutes from the
most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. More data
on domestic inflation arrives tomorrow, with the release of
January's consumer price index (CPI). Also on Thursday's docket are
weekly initial jobless claims, leading economic indicators, and the
Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey. The economic calendar is
bare on Friday.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,364,445 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
754,566 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.56, while the 21-day moving average edged higher to
**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
Trading the News: A Contrarian View.
Check out this special report from Bernie Schaeffer
Overseas trading is pointed broadly higher this morning, as nine
of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory.
The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of
0.47%. Asian markets headed higher on Wednesday, with investor
tensions easing in the wake of China's latest data on inflation.
Japan's Nikkei extended its rally to three straight sessions, with
exporters rallying on a weaker yen. Meanwhile, European stocks are
trading broadly higher, as Sanofi-Aventis' deal to purchase Genzyme
provided a shot in the arm for investor sentiment.
Currencies and Commodities
After sliding to an 11-week low yesterday, crude futures are
looking to reclaim their footing this morning. With the official
government report on weekly U.S. petroleum supplies set for release
later today, the March crude contract has added 40 cents to trade
at $87.97 per barrel. A weak U.S. dollar is helping provide ballast
for commodities this morning, with the greenback extending its
decline versus the euro. However, the greenback continues to edge
higher versus the yen, extending its push into eight-week high
territory versus the Japanese currency. As a result, the U.S.
Dollar Index has dipped 0.16% in premarket trading. Finally, gold
futures are off 60 cents at $1,373.50 an ounce in London, with the
malleable metal struggling to extend yesterday's solid gains.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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