Despite Standard & Poor's late-Tuesday downgrade of a number
of global banks, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are
headed higher this morning, looking to
to a third straight session. Wall Street seems to have its eye on a
slew of jobs data, with the ADP report following in the footsteps
of yesterday's promising
consumer confidence report
Investors are also optimistic on the international front, after
China's central bank attempted to promote economic growth by easing
the reserve requirement ratio of banks, a move not made in the past
three years. Not to be outdone, euro-zone officials remain in
clean-up mode, approving the next round of aid to struggling
Greece. Furthermore, a plan by global central banks to strengthen
dollar swap lines has also bolstered futures. Against this hopeful
backdrop, futures on the DJIA are trading 93 points above fair
value, while the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
is looking at an 11-point jump.
In earnings news, Universal Technical Institute (UTI - 12.16)
saw its fiscal fourth-quarter profit drop 18% to $5.95 million, or
24 cents per share, from $7.22 million, or 29 cents per share, in
the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue slipped 6.6% to $111.4
million. The results fell below Wall Street's forecast for earnings
of 29 cents per share on $111.5 million in sales. For the 2012
fiscal year, UTI expects its top line to experience a mid- to
high-single-digit percentage-point decline, while analysts are
looking for a 5% slide in revenue for the year. Shares of UTI are
trading about 1.5% lower ahead of the bell.
OmniVision Technologies (OVTI - 11.19) reported a fiscal
second-quarter profit of $21.1 million, or 35 cents per share, down
from $28.9 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding items, earnings came in at 48 cents per share, compared
to 58 cents per share in the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue fell
9% to $217.9 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting a
slimmer profit of 32 cents per share on revenue of $214.6 million.
Looking ahead, OVTI is expecting adjusted third-quarter earnings
between 5 cents and 17 cents per share on revenue of $160 million
to $180 million. Analysts, however, are forecasting a profit of 26
cents per share on revenue of $201.4 million. OVTI is facing a 4.5%
drop right out of the gate this morning.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from
), American Eagle Outfitters (
), Coldwater Creek (
), Finisar (
), Fresh Market (
), Guess (GES), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD), La Z Boy (LZB),
Synopsys (SNPS), and United Natural Foods (UNFI). Keep your browser
for more news as it breaks.
Employment data starts to trickle in today, with the release of
the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report on job cuts, and ADP's
private payrolls number for November. Also on tap are the Chicago
PMI, pending home sales, and the Fed's Beige Book. Thursday
features the ISM manufacturing index, as well as construction
spending data and the usual report on weekly jobless claims. The
week wraps up with a bang on Friday, when the Labor Department
unveils its monthly nonfarm payrolls report.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 795,324 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
497,444 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.63, while the 21-day moving average was 0.74.
Stocks in Asia ended lower today, wrapping up a miserable month
for global equities markets. Late Tuesday, euro-zone leaders
reached an agreement regarding the proposed expansion of the
region's bailout fund, and confirmed the forthcoming disbursement
of another tranche of aid for troubled Greece. However, the bulls
opted to hold their fire after Tuesday's advance, particularly
after the newly struck agreement proved to be somewhat lacking in
detail. Among individual equities, HSBC helped pace the decliners
in Hong Kong after a downgrade from Standard & Poor's, while
Samsung bucked the downtrend following a favorable court ruling in
its patent battle with Apple. By the close, China's Shanghai
Composite gave up 3.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.5%, and
Japan's Nikkei and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5% apiece.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar index is trading higher this morning, with the
greenback up 0.2% ahead of the bell. Crude oil futures, on the
other hand, may be on pace to end their three-session winning
streak, with black gold down fractionally, trading just shy of the
century mark. Gold futures are headed south, as well, dropping 0.1%
at last check, to $1,716.60 per ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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