Opening View: DJIA Futures Push Higher Ahead of Jobless Claims


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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. ( CASY ) in a deal valued at about $2 billion. The offer tops Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s ( ANCUF ) 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. ( GS ) 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. ( MW ) 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.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, National Semiconductor Corp. ( NSM ) and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. ( SWHC ) will release their quarterly earnings reports today. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

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.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) 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.

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

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Overseas Trading

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.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

Commodities should take center stage in early trading this morning, as the Energy Information Administration ( EIA ) 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 82.57.

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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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