After all three major market indexes suffered
sharp declines last week
-- including the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJIA) worst weekly
drop since October 2008 -- stocks are set to open higher today. At
first, it looked as though it would be another down day for Wall
Street, as Asian markets fell on concerns about Greece, but
European markets have shifted gears to a more optimistic light.
Following the International Monetary Fund's (
) meeting in Washington over the weekend, there is word that a
possible interest-rate cut by the European Central Bank could be in
store for the region. As the bulls make their way back to the
Street, the DJIA is readying for a 132-point gain at the open, and
both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are
heading for a positive start, as well.
In earnings news, Cal-Maine Foods (CALM - 30.43) reported a
fiscal first-quarter profit of $3.1 million, or 13 cents per share,
down 35% from its year-ago earnings of $4.8 million, or 20 cents
per share. Revenue for the quarter climbed 28% to $243.8 million,
but feed costs ramped up by 45%. Analysts, on average, were looking
for a profit of 20 cents per share on $227 million in revenue.
Ahead of the bell, CALM is set to open with a 0.4% lead.
In equities news, UBS AG (UBS - 11.25) reported that Oswald
Gruebel resigned as CEO on Saturday, in the wake of the
$2.3-billion rogue trading scandal that has plagued the Swiss bank.
The new CEO is Sergio Ermotti, who joined UBS after losing out on
the top position at the Italian bank UniCredit. At last check, the
shares of UBS are poised to open about 3.6% higher.
Netflix (NFLX - 129.36) reported that it struck a content deal
on Sunday with DreamWorks Animation SKG (
). NFLX will pay $30 million for each title from DreamWorks, and
will be allowed to stream the production company's films and
television specials beginning in 2013. This new partnership will
also sever NFLX's ties with cable network HBO. In pre-market
action, NFLX is headed 4.7% higher.
Today's earnings docket will also feature a report from
Ferrellgas Partners (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic calendar kicks off today with the release of new
home sales data for August. On Tuesday, the Street will be graced
with the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for July, the
Conference Board's gauge of consumer confidence for September, and
the Richmond Fed manufacturing index. Last month's durable goods
data will be released on Wednesday, along with the regularly
scheduled crude inventories report. On Thursday, the economic
agenda heats up with the final second-quarter gross domestic
) 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 988,705 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
643,688 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.65, while the 21-day moving average was 0.71.
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Conversely, European markets are pointed higher at midday.
Stocks erased early losses on speculation that officials may expand
the scope of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), which
gave banking stocks a boost. Meanwhile, European Central Bank (ECB)
official Ewald Nowotny hinted that a potential rate cut is not out
of the question, further fueling the relief rally. At last look,
the German DAX has jumped 3.3%, the French CAC 40 is up 2.8%, and
London's FTSE 100 is 1.1% higher.
Currencies and Commodities
Surrendering earlier gains, the greenback is down fractionally
this morning, with the U.S. dollar index 0.3% lower at last check.
Crude futures, on the other hand, have reversed a portion of last
week's heavy losses, with the front-month contract up 13 cents, or
0.2%, to trade near $79.98 per barrel. Gold futures are extending
their pullback, after suffering their worst single-session drop in
over five years on Friday. At last look, the malleable metal was
down $10.90, or 0.7%, at $1,628.90 an ounce.
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