U.S. stocks are poised to extend their upward momentum today, as
a relatively quiet Wall Street awaits the next round of economic
data. In the wake of yesterday's batch of
encouraging economic and sentiment reports
, traders appear optimistic ahead of data on personal income,
spending, durable goods, and housing, with the bulls looking to
start the long holiday weekend on a high note. Meanwhile, a deal
between Rambus (
) and Broadcom (
) could help the tech sector
continue yesterday's ascent
, while crude oil's quest to reclaim the century mark has energy
stocks pointed higher. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are set to
open a lightly traded session in the black.
In equities news, Rambus (RMBS - 7.32) said it reached a
five-year patent licensing agreement with Broadcom (BRCM - 29.77),
settling all outstanding claims between the two. Terms of the
latest deal, however, weren't disclosed. Ahead of the bell, RMBS is
set to soar 16.3%, while BRCM is headed 0.8% higher.
Eastman Kodak (EK - 0.63) is set to open with a 19% lead, after
the firm tapped General Counsel Laura Quatela to serve as
co-president with Philip Faraci. "Laura's election reflects her
increasing role in the company, including the strategic importance
of the intellectual property business," said Chairman and CEO
Antonio M. Perez. Quatela will take office Jan. 1.
On the earnings front, Christopher & Banks (CBK - 2.35) last
night said its fiscal third-quarter loss widened to $28.2 million,
or 79 cents per share, from its year-ago loss of $9.2 million, or
26 cents per share. The results included a one-time charge of 34
cents per share, related to the retailer's planned store closings
and consolidations. Revenue, on the other hand, edged 2.4% higher
to $123.9 million, while same-store sales remained flat. The
results surprised few on the Street, as the company last week
forecast a quarterly loss and suspended its dividend. In pre-market
trading, CBK is down 2.6%.
There are no earnings reports of note. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
We head into the long holiday weekend with data on durable
goods, personal income and spending, and new home sales for
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 747,598 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
507,293 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.68, while the 21-day moving average was 0.71.
Asian stocks ended higher today, with traders taking their cues
from a round of
well-received U.S. economic data
on Thursday. Commodity stocks were a pocket of strength, after
China's Yanzhou Coal struck a reverse merger deal with Australia's
Gloucester Coal. However, the day's gains came amid relatively
light volume, with traders in Tokyo enjoying a holiday break. By
the close, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 1.4%, South Korea's
Kospi rose 1.1%, and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.9%.
It's pretty much the same story over in Europe, with volume
drying up ahead of the extended holiday weekend. Traders cheered
upbeat U.S. data
, as well as the Italian Senate's approval of a $40-billion
austerity plan. At last check, the German DAX has climbed 0.4%, the
French CAC 40 is 1% higher, and London's FTSE 100 ended a half-day
of trading up 1%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is on the decline this morning, with the U.S.
dollar index down 0.2%. Crude oil, meanwhile, has continued its
journey toward the century mark, with the front-month contract last
seen 0.4% higher at $99.93 per barrel. On the flip side, gold
futures are fractionally lower, with the malleable metal lingering
near $1,610.40 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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