Technically, the DJIA closed above the 12,300 level for the
first time since June 18, 2008 yesterday, extending the blue chip
barometer's impressive rally along its 10-day and 20-day moving
averages. In fact, the Dow has not closed a session below this duo
since Nov. 30, 2010. Levels to watch include potential resistance
near 12,400, and support in the 12,300-12,250 region. The SPX,
meanwhile, vaulted above the 1,340 level on Thursday -- territory
not seen since June 19, 2008. The broad-market index has enjoyed
its own rally along its 10-day and 20-day trendlines, closing only
one session below this pair since Nov. 30. Look for the SPX to meet
with resistance in the 1,345-1,350 area, while support could emerge
near the 1,333.58 level --
which marks a double of the index's March 2009
In equities news, Ford Motor Co. (
) announced plans to enter a joint venture with Russian automotive
group Sollers OJSC to produce and distribute Ford vehicles in
Russia. The venture will be called Ford Sollers and will utilize
local production facilities from both companies in the St.
Petersburg region and in the Republic of Tatarstan. The pair said
that production should begin by the end of 2011.
In earnings news, Campbell Soup Co. (
) reported second-quarter earnings of $239 million, or 71 cents per
share, as sales fell to $2.13 billion from $2.15 billion last year.
Looking ahead, the company lowered its fiscal 2011 earnings
forecast to a decline of between 1%-3%, with sales seen in a range
of down 1% to up 1%. Campbell had previously said it expected 2011
earnings growth of 2%-4%, with sales up 1%-3%.
After the close last night, Brocade Communications (
) posted a fiscal first-quarter profit of $27 million, or 6 cents
per share, on revenue of $546 million. Adjusted income arrived at
12 cents per share. Analysts had expected the company to post
earnings of 10 cents per share on revenue of $543.7 million.
Finally, Intuit Inc. (
) banked a fiscal second-quarter profit of $73 million, or 23 cents
per share, on revenue of $878 million. Excluding one-time items,
Intuit said earnings for the quarter weighed in at 32 cents per
share. Analysts had expected Intuit to report earnings for the
quarter of 32 cents per share on $891.8 million in revenue.
On the earnings front, Brookfield Asset Management (
) and Healthspring (HS) are slated to release their quarterly
earnings reports. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
There are no economic reports slated for release today. Monday
is also devoid of data, as the market is closed due to the
President's Day holiday. Tuesday kicks things off next week with
the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for December and the
February consumer confidence index.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,734,941 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
866,722 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.50, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.56.
**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 divided this morning, as five of the 10
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of
0.04%. In Asian trading, China's Shanghai Composite declined for
the first time in seven sessions, with investors fretting over the
potential for additional tightening measures out of Beijing. In
fact, the People's Bank of China hiked the reserve ratio for banks
for the second time this year, this time by 0.5%. The move has
created a bit of a stir in European trading, where stocks reversed
early gains to trade broadly lower.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar is headed higher versus most of its foreign
rivals this morning, with the U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% at 78.15 in
premarket trading. However, the index is finding resistance at its
10-day moving average and the 78.20 level - a region that has
alternated between support and resistance since late January. The
stronger greenback is creating drag for commodities. For instance,
crude futures have added a meager 7 cents to $88.91 per barrel in
electronic trading. Additionally, gold has added $1.50 to trade at
$1,386.60 an ounce in London.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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