Despite suffering a rocky session, the Dow Jones Industrial
Average (DJIA) closed Tuesday at its highest point since April 24.
However, the DJIA could be poised to retreat again this morning, as
Wall Street Journal
report has called into question the scale of the Federal Reserve's
much-anticipated quantitative easing measures. With the
warning Wall Street not to expect "shock and awe" this time around,
futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading
roughly 30 points and 5 points below fair value, respectively.
Technically, the blue chip barometer continues to push higher along
support at its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, with short-term
support at the 11,150 level gaining strength. Firmer support for
the Dow lies at the 11,100 level, though the DJIA has been unable
to push past growing resistance at the 11,250 region. As for the
SPX, the 1,180 and 1,195 levels should remain focus points for
support and resistance.
In earnings news, The Procter & Gamble Co. (
) reported that first-quarter earnings fell 7% to $3.08 billion, or
$1.02 per share, from $3.3 billion, or $1.06 a share, in the
year-ago period. Sales rose 2% to $20.1 billion. Wall Street
analysts expected a profit of $1 per share on revenue of $20.27
billion. Looking ahead to the second quarter, PG expects earnings
of $1.05 per share to $1.11 per share and net sales growth of 3% to
5%, versus the consensus estimate for earnings of $1.11 per share.
The firm also indicated that it is contending with higher commodity
costs and marketing spending in the coming quarter.
Also, Novellus Systems Inc. (
) reported third-quarter net income of $76.3 million, or 82 cents
per share, on revenue of $367.2 million. Excluding charges,
Novellus said earnings for the quarter were 88 cents per share.
Analysts had expected a profit of 84 cents per share, and $355.8
million in revenue.
On the earnings front, Brinker International Inc. (
), ConocoPhillips (
), P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB), Sprint Nextel Corp. (S),
Goldcorp Inc. (GG), and Visa Inc. (V) will release their quarterly
reports today. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
September's durable goods orders, September's new home sales,
and the weekly report on U.S. petroleum supplies are slated for
release today, while tomorrow offers up the usual report on weekly
initial jobless claims. Friday rounds out the week with an advance
look at third-quarter gross domestic product, October's Chicago
purchasing managers' index, and the final reading for the October
University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,324,696 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
795,784 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.60, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.60.
**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 this morning, as half of the 10
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of
0.43%, mainly due to heavy losses in Asia. Specifically, regional
indexes plunged, as investors grew concerned that the Federal
Reserve's quantitative easing may not be as aggressive as many had
hoped. Meanwhile, European markets are trading cautiously higher
heading into midday activity, with the banking sector leading the
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar continues to inch higher this morning, as the
U.S. Dollar Index was last seen up 0.11% at 77.80. The greenback's
continued resilience is taking its toll on commodities. For
example, the front-month crude contract has fallen 67 cents to
$81.88 in electronic trading. Meanwhile, gold futures have slipped
$4.70 to $1,333.90 an ounce in London.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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