Opening View: DJIA Heads Toward Sixth Straight Loss; Are Bulls in Full Retreat?


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There truly is no rest for the weary, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA ) may be headed for its sixth consecutive losing session. Poor economic data sapped an early rally for the Dow on Wednesday, which culminated in a 96-point plunge for the blue-chip barometer. What's more, the venerable average plummeted roughly 10% during the second quarter - its worst quarterly performance since 2009. The DJIA is now trading just above its June 8 low near 9,750 - more than 100 points below May's "flash crash" low. The next layer of support for the Dow rests near 9,700 - its October 2009 short-term bottom - with 9,400 offering longer-term support on a steeper decline. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index ( SPX ) is perched on its October 2009 low at 1,030. Short-term support for the SPX lies near 1,020, while psychological support should materialize near 1,000 on a sharp pullback. Heading into the open, both the DJIA and the SPX are pointed lower, trading about 18 points and 2 points below fair value, respectively.

In equity news, Apollo Group Inc. ( APOL ) reported third-quarter net income of $179.2 million, or $1.18 per share. Excluding one-time items, the company would have earned $1.74 per share. Net revenue increased to $1.34 billion from $1.05 billion.

Elsewhere, Smith & Wesson ( SWHC ) posted fourth-quarter earnings of $2.7 million, or 4 cents per share. Revenue rose to $103.8 million from $99.5 million last year. Analysts were looking for a profit of 4 cents per share on revenue of $98.7 million.

Finally, Yahoo! Inc. ( YHOO ) said that its board of directors authorized a $3 billion stock repurchase program, which is to be implemented over the next three years. Yahoo said in a regulatory filing that its board approved the program last Thursday, and that the stock purchases may "take place in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions."

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, Constellation Brands Inc. ( STZ ) will post its quarterly results today. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The usual weekly initial jobless claims report will arrive today, as well as reports on May's construction spending and June's auto sales. We round out the week tomorrow with the Big Kahuna: nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate for June.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 991,496 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 603,515 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.61, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.66.

Volatility indices

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

**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 higher.**

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

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Overseas Trading

Overseas trading continues to look sickly this morning, with none of the 10 foreign indexes that we track in positive territory. What's more, the cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of 0.98%. In Asia, weakening economic data forced regional markets sharply lower. Specifically, China's official PMI for June fell to 52.1 from 53.9 in May. Additionally, Japanese stocks tumbled for a fifth straight session, despite the Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey showing sentiment among large manufacturers turned positive for the first time in two years. Across the pond in Europe, banks and commodities-related stocks are leading a broad pullback, as traders react to poor economic data out of China and the U.S. Overseas market information comes to you courtesy of Schaeffer's Daily Bulletin .

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. Dollar Index continues to slip lower this morning, as the euro remains on its feet in the wake of the European Central Bank's relief package. At last check, the index was off 0.53% at 85.57. Meanwhile, commodities are failing to take advantage of the softening dollar. Crude futures, for example, have dropped 80 cents to $74.83 per barrel, with traders concerned about weak manufacturing data out of China, which could impact demand. Additionally, gold futures have also given up some ground this morning. In London, the front-month contract has fallen $2.10 to $1,243.80 an ounce.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations .

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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