The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) cheered a decline in
weekly jobless claims and overlooked a need to raise capital among
European banks on Thursday, allowing the blue-chip barometer to
challenge resistance at its 200-day moving average. While the Dow
was unable to make that final push and close above this key
trendline, Wall Street appears ready to make a second attempt this
morning, as futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are
trading roughly 17 points and 3.8 points above fair value,
respectively. The positive bias comes even as President Obama
prepares to give an 11 a.m. news conference, where traders will
scrutinize any comments on the state of the economy. While the DJIA
is currently challenging resistance in the 10,450 region, traders
should keep an eye out for support in the 10,350 area, should
things go south. Similarly, the SPX's levels to watch include
support near 1,100 and resistance at 1,110.
On the sentiment front, we've noticed an interesting development
Association for Individual Investors'
weekly survey. Specifically, the bullish percentage jumped from
30.80% last week to 43.87% this week. This bullish reading
represents the highest percentage since the week of April 15, or
just before the SPX and DJIA set their highs for 2010.
Turning to equity news, shares of Nokia Corp. (
) are trading sharply higher in overseas activity, after the firm
announced the appointment of a former Microsoft Corp. (
) executive as its next CEO. In premarket trading on Wall Street,
NOK was last seen up by 5.7%.
On the earnings front, BP plc (
) announced that it is delaying the release of its third-quarter
earnings report. The company now expects to report its results for
the quarter on Nov. 2. BP offered no reason for the delay.
National Semiconductor (
) reported net income of $88.8 million, or 36 cents per share, as
revenue rose 31% to $412 million. Analysts were looking for
earnings of 34 cents per share on revenue of $415.6 million.
Finally, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (
) said that its fiscal first-quarter profit declined to $6.2
million, or 10 cents per share. Revenue fell to $94.9 million from
$101.7 million last year. Analysts estimated a quarterly profit of
5 cents per share on revenue of $95.6 million.
On the earnings front, Brady Corp. (
) and lululemon athletica inc. (
) will release their quarterly earnings reports today. Keep your
for more news as it breaks.
There are no major economic reports scheduled for release today.
Looking ahead to next week, the U.S. budget figures for August are
due from the Treasury Department on Monday, while Tuesday offers up
August retail sales and July business inventories. The New York Fed
will release its report on September manufacturing activity on
Wednesday, which will be accompanied by August's industrial
production and the weekly report on U.S. petroleum supplies. We'll
get the weekly report on new jobless claims on Thursday, as well as
the producer price index for August and the Philadelphia Fed's
manufacturing report. Finally, the Labor Department will deliver
the August consumer price index on Friday, while the University of
Michigan will give its first peek at consumer sentiment in
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 924,348 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
564,057 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.61, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.63.
**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
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Overseas trading has a bearish slant this morning, as only four
of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory.
The cumulative average return, however, stands at a gain of 0.22%.
In Asia, regional indexes finished broadly higher, as stocks gained
ground following news that domestic demand remained strong in China
despite Beijing's efforts to slow the economy. Specifically,
China's August imports were up 35.2% year-on-year, compared to
expectations for a rise of 25%. Elsewhere in the region, markets in
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India were
closed for a public holiday.
Across the pond in Europe, the situation is not quite as rosy.
Banking stocks are leading a broad retreat, after Deutsche Bank (
) announced plans to raise more than $10 billion in capital through
a stock offering. In economic news, the Office for National
Statistics reported that the British producer price index (PPI)
remained flat in August. The core PPI rose 0.1% in August, and was
up 4.6% year-on-year.
Currencies and Commodities
Despite selling off on Thursday in the wake of a surprise rise
in weekly U.S. petroleum supplies, crude futures are bouncing back
this morning. The most active contract has gained $1.55 to trade at
$75.80 per barrel in electronic trading. Gold futures haven't been
as lucky, with the lead contract up a mere 10 cents at $1,251 an
ounce in London. Finally, the U.S. Dollar Index is trading
fractionally lower, off 0.10% at 82.60.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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