U.S. stocks are pointed modestly higher ahead of the bell, as
Wall Street digests the latest developments out of the euro zone.
Most recently, Finland's parliament approved a proposed expansion
to the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). However, the
changes require the go-ahead from all 17 euro-zone members, fueling
cautious optimism ahead of Germany's vote on the measure tomorrow.
On the home front, meanwhile, investors will evaluate the Commerce
Department's report on durable goods, with most economists
expecting orders to remain unchanged in August. At last check, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is headed for a 63-point gain,
while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is lingering about 6.5 points
north of fair value.
In earnings news, Jabil Circuit, Inc. (JBL - 17.38) unveiled a
fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $114.3 million, or 52 cents per
share, up 95% from the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, JBL said
it banked a profit of 62 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenue
climbed 11% to $4.28 billion. Analysts, on average, were
anticipating an adjusted profit of 56 cents per share on sales of
$4.19 billion. JBL also highlighted a 126% increase to its
fiscal-year earnings, as well as an increase of 23% for its
fiscal-year revenue. "Posting a record quarter and fiscal year in
the present environment is remarkable," said JBL CEO Timothy L.
Main. "Demand for our expertise in managing global supply chain
networks remains robust, especially now as customers increasingly
focus on growth in developing economies," he added. Looking ahead,
JBL predicted an adjusted per-share profit of 52 cents to 60 cents
for the fiscal first quarter, and said it expects revenue of $4.3
billion to $4.5 billion. Wall Street, meanwhile, had forecast
adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share on sales of $4.41 billion.
At last check, JBL is headed for an 8% lead out of the gate.
Meanwhile, Sealy Corporation (ZZ - 1.79) reported a fiscal
third-quarter profit of $6.6 million, or 4 cents per share,
compared to a loss of $15.8 million, or 4 cents per share, in the
year-ago period. Revenue increased 4.2% to $334.1 million. Analysts
had expected a profit of 4 cents per share on revenue of $342
million. "We continued to reap the benefits of both our recent Next
Generation Posturepedic launch and our new advertising campaign in
the third quarter, as we delivered year over year sales growth
[and] sequential gross margin improvement," said President and CEO
Finally, Family Dollar Stores (FDO - 54.18) said fiscal
fourth-quarter profit grew 8% to $79.8 million, or 66 cents per
share, topping expectations for a per-share profit of 63 cents.
Revenue, meanwhile, rose 9.1% to $2.13 billion, in line with Wall
Street's forecast. For the current quarter, FDO projected earnings
of 65 cents to 73 cents per share, compared to analysts'
expectations for a profit of 66 cents per share. For the fiscal
year, the discount retailer expects earnings between $3.50 and
$3.75 per share, with same-store sales expected to rise 8% to 10%.
Analysts, on average, were anticipating a fiscal-year profit of
$3.58 per share on an 8% sales increase. In addition, FDO unveiled
plans to open 450 to 500 new stores in its new fiscal year, marking
an increase of more than 50% from the previous year. In pre-market
action, the shares of FDO are headed 1.5% higher.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from Darden
), Mosaic (
), and Texas Industries (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
Last month's durable goods data will be released today, along
with the regularly scheduled crude inventories report. On Thursday,
the economic agenda heats up with the final second-quarter gross
domestic product (
) figures, pending home sales data for July, and the usual weekly
jobless claims on tap. Finally, we'll wrap up the week with reports
on personal income and spending for August, the latest
Reuters/UMich sentiment index, and the Chicago purchasing managers
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 974,479 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
605,616 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.62, while the 21-day moving average was 0.70.
The summer 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
European benchmarks are wobbling around breakeven at midday,
with strength in defensive stocks helping to offset weakness in
financials. Lawmakers in Finland approved a proposed expansion to
the EFSF, but traders are on edge ahead of a similar vote in
Germany tomorrow. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.5%, the
French CAC 40 is down 0.1%, and London's FTSE 100 has lost
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading modestly lower this morning, with the
U.S. dollar index down about 0.1% at last check. Crude futures,
meanwhile, have given back a portion of yesterday's gains, with the
front-month contract down 37 cents, or 0.4%, to trade near $84.08
per barrel. Likewise, gold futures are also fractionally lower
after yesterday's advance, giving up 80 cents, or about 0.1%, to
flirt with $1,651.70 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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