The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 46 points
yesterday, as market bulls held on to early gains despite
lackluster indications from the Fed's Beige Book. The blue-chip
barometer appears content to remain between support in the 10,350
region and resistance at the 10,450 level. However, Wall Street
must still contend with weekly initial jobless claims, as well as
any additional details out of the Obama administration regarding
the proposed tax reform and business initiatives the president
outlined in yesterday's speech. Overall, however, traders appear to
be upbeat, as futures on the DJIA and SPX are trading roughly 45
points and 4.8 points above fair value, respectively.
In M&A news, privately held 7-Eleven Inc. offered $40 per
share to buy Casey's General Stores Inc. (
) in a deal valued at about $2 billion. The offer tops Canada-based
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s (
) hostile bid of $38.50 per share, the
Wall Street Journal
said. Casey's stated on Tuesday that it received a proposal from a
"strategic third party" to buy the company at $40 per share.
Casey's doesn't believe the offer is sufficient, but indicated that
it was willing to engage in talks.
Elsewhere, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (
) could be hit with a $31 million fine from the U.K.'s Financial
Services Authority (FSA) as early as today. The fine stems from the
FSA's probe into Goldman's disclosure practices concerning its
Abacus collateralized debt obligation securities. The fine follows
on the heels of a $550 million fine on the same charges issued by
the Securities and Exchange Commission in July.
Finally, in earnings news, Men's Wearhouse Inc. (
) reported a second-quarter profit, excluding one-time items, of 83
cents per share, Revenue increased to $537 million from $526.2
million a year ago. Analysts estimated a quarterly profit of 78
cents per share on revenue of $535 million.
On the earnings front, National Semiconductor Corp. (
) and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (
) will release their quarterly earnings reports today. Keep your
for more news as it breaks.
Today, we'll get the weekly reports on initial jobless claims
and U.S. petroleum supplies, along with the trade balance report
from the Commerce Department. There are no major economic reports
scheduled or Friday.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 994,367 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to
534,906 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.54, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.63.
**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
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Overseas trading is in fine shape 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
0.36%. In Asia, Japan rebounded sharply from the prior session's
losses, with the Nikkei rallying nearly 1% to lead the region
higher. However, Chinese stocks bucked the trend, and finished
broadly lower on fears that Beijing would renew its tightening
measures in the real estate market. In Europe, mining stocks and
automakers are leading the way higher, with automakers taking their
cues from BMW, who reported a stronger-than-expected 12.5% rise in
August car sales. In policy news, the Bank of England left its key
lending rate unchanged at a record low 0.5%. The central bank also
left its 200 billion pound asset-purchase program on hold.
Currencies and Commodities
Commodities should take center stage in early trading this
morning, as the Energy Information Administration (
) will release its weekly report on U.S. petroleum stockpiles.
Currently, analysts are expecting a decline of 730,000 barrels in
the latest week. Crude futures are up in anticipation of the news,
rising 47 cents to $75.14 per barrel. Gold futures, however, are
consolidating after their recent run higher. In London, the lead
contract was last seen lower by 80 cents at $1,256.70 an ounce.
Finally, the U.S. Dollar Index continues to hover near support in
the 82.50 region. Heading into the open, the index was off 0.02% at
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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