The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) could be headed lower
today, as Wall Street bulls look to catch their breath and take
some profit off the table following last week's impressive run
higher. Specifically, futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index
(SPX) are trading roughly 36 points and 3.75 points below fair
value, respectively. Renewed European debt concerns and a
strengthening U.S. dollar are weighing on stocks in premarket
trading, and while there are no economic reports slated for
release, Fed watchers may tune into a speech by St. Louis Federal
Reserve Bank President James Bullard later this morning. Look for
the DJIA to find support in the 11,350-11,400 region, while
resistance remains in the 11,450-11,500 area. As for the SPX, the
broad-market index should trade between 1,220 and 1,230.
In equity news, Ashland Inc. (
) announced that it is selling its global distribution business to
TPG Capital for $930 million. The unit employs around 2,000 people
and generates annual revenue of around $3.4 billion. The deal is
expected to close before the end of March 2011. "I believe the
outlook for the distribution business and its employees will be
much stronger as part of an organization targeting growth within
the distribution marketplace," said Ashland CEO James O'Brien.
Elsewhere, Estee Lauder Companies (
) was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Barclays
Capital. The brokerage firm also lifted its price target to $81 per
share from $69 per share. According to Barclays Capital, EL is
"partnering with retailers to bring its high-service, high-touch
model into specialty stores as well as beefing up its online
On the earnings front, Frontier Communications Corp. (
), Sysco Corp. (
), Warner Chilcott plc (WCRX ), Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (
), Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO), Convergys Corp.
(CVG), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (EGLE), LSK Solar Co. Ltd. (LDK),
priceline.com Incorporated (PCLN), Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) and
The Warnaco Group Inc. (WRC) will release their quarterly reports
today. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
There are no economic reports slated for release today, while
September's wholesale inventories report arrives on Tuesday. We'll
get the usual weekly report on crude inventories, along with the
September trade balance figures on Wednesday. Thursday offers up
the weekly initial jobless claims report, while Friday rounds out
the week with the University of Michigan's first reading on
November consumer sentiment.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 2,161,609 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
923,541 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.43, while the 21-day moving average fell to 0.59.
**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
Overseas trading is mixed, with half of the 10 foreign indexes
that we track in positive territory. The cumulative average return
on the collective stands at a gain of 0.10%. Asian markets finished
mostly higher, as Japanese investors cheered a recent bout of
strong quarterly corporate earnings and a rise in sales for
automakers. Meanwhile, European markets are trading broadly lower,
as traders take profits in the wake of last week's rally. What's
more, renewed debt concerns in Ireland and Portugal are weighing on
sentiment across the region.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. Dollar Index is headed higher this morning, with the
greenback showing considerable strength versus the euro in the wake
of renewed worries over debt problems in Ireland and Portugal.
Meanwhile, Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told parliament
that while they must work to limit the yen's continued advance,
"there are advantages of yen rises," according to Dow Jones
Newswires. At last check, the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.65% at
77.09. The dollar's strength has been commodities' weakness.
Specifically, crude futures have shed 43 cents to $86.42 per barrel
in electronic trading, while gold has slipped $6 to $1,391.70 an
ounce in London.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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