The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added about 10 points on
Wednesday, as market bulls overcame a weak energy sector to finish
higher for the second session in a row. The DJIA is still staring
up at resistance in the 10,450 region, where the blue-chip
barometer's 200-day moving average currently resides. Look for
token support near 10,400 in today's trading, while more stalwart
support should emerge near 10,300. Heading into the open, the DJIA
is trading flat to lower compared to fair value, pointing toward a
bit of trepidation ahead of economic reports on weekly jobless
claims, July's leading indicators, and manufacturing activity in
the Philadelphia region. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are
also relatively flat, with the broad-market index apparently
unwilling to test battle resistance at the 1,100 level again today.
Finally, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) could be gearing up
for a sharp move, as the VIX's trading range becomes increasingly
narrowed by resistance at its 50-day trendline (near 26) and
support at its 200-day moving average (currently at 23.50).
Ahead of the open this morning, Sears Holdings Corp. (
) narrowed its second-quarter net loss to $39 million, or 35 cents
per share, from $94 million, or 79 cents per share, in the year-ago
quarter. The company reported an adjusted net loss of 19 cents per,
missing the consensus forecast for a loss of 17 cents per share.
Sales inched lower to $10.46 billion from $10.55 billion.
Also in pre-market activity, Staples Inc. (
) said its adjusted second-quarter earnings were 20 cents per
share, matching Wall Street's expectations for a profit of 20 cents
per share. Sales were flat at $5.5 billion. Looking ahead, the
company said it expects sales to rise in the low single digits in
the third quarter and expects adjusted earnings of 39 to 41 cents
per share. For the full year, Staples expects a low single-digit
rise in sales, with adjusted earnings in a range of $1.25 to $1.29
After the close last night, NetApp Inc. (
) reported a first-quarter profit of $183 million, or 49 cents per
share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.14 billion. Analysts were
looking for a profit of 46 cents per share on $1.13 billion in
Finally, Applied Materials Inc. (
) reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share,
as revenue rose to $2.52 billion. The company's adjusted profit
also included a restructuring charge of 12 cents per share.
Excluding that charge, non-GAAP earnings would have been 29 cents
per share. Analysts had expected the chip-equipment maker to report
earnings of 25 cents per share, on revenue of $2.35 billion.
On the earnings front, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (
), The Home Depot Inc. (
), Saks Inc. (
), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (
), and Analog Devices Inc. (
) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings report today.
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The weekly report on initial jobless claims will be released on
later this morning, along with the Conference Board's Leading
Indicators Index for July, and the Philadelphia Fed Index for
August. There are no major economic reports scheduled for release
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,077,638 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to
720,089 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.67, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.62.
**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
Senior Equities Analyst Andrea Kramer will be live
blogging from the Schaeffer's booth at the San Francisco Money
Show later this week. Click
for an advance look at what to expect at this premier investor
Overseas trading looks strong this morning, as all 10 of the
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of
0.72%. In Asia, Japanese stocks led the rally, with traders
cheering the possibility of easing monetary policy by the Bank of
Japan. European stocks are following Asia's lead, with the region
rallying around strong U.K. retail sales data and a boosted outlook
for Germany's growth forecast by Bundesbank.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. Dollar Index is on the move higher again this morning,
as the greenback advances on both the Japanese yen and the euro.
Currency traders have zeroed in on Japan this morning, as the
country's central bank is debating additional easing in monetary
policy. At last check, the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.13% at 82.34.
Crude futures are rebounding after tagging a six-week low on
Wednesday. In electronic trading, the front-month contract is up 30
cents at $76.08 per barrel. Finally, the decline in the euro and
the rise in the U.S. dollar is creating a bit of drag on gold
futures this morning, as the most active contract is down 40 cents
at $1,231 an ounce in London.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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