After ending dramatically lower on Friday, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJIA) is bracing for another triple-digit drop
out of the gate today. Lingering concerns about a lackluster
nonfarm payrolls report have kept the bears in charge, as have
fresh fears about the fiscal health of Europe. Most notably, the
Swiss National Bank vowed to keep the euro at or above 1.20 francs,
even if it means buying the currency "in unlimited quantities."
Against this backdrop, the DJIA is trading about 238 points below
fair value, while the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) is poised for
a 30-point drop.
United Technologies (UTX - 71.04) this morning reiterated its
full-year outlook. Specifically, the firm reaffirmed its
expectations for earnings of $5.35 to $5.45 per share on sales of
roughly $58 billion. Analysts, on average, were calling for
slightly higher 2011 earnings of $5.46 per share on revenue of
Fairchild Semiconductor International (FCS - 12.48) trimmed its
third-quarter revenue outlook, citing lower-than-expected demand
from its distributors. The firm now expects sales between $400
million and $410 million, compared to its previous guidance for
sales of $433 million to $446 million. Wall Street, meanwhile, had
forecast higher third-quarter sales of about $439.5 million for the
Dell Inc. (DELL - 14.24) said it's partnered up with Baidu Inc.
(BIDU - 140.45) to develop tablets and mobile phones for the
Chinese market. According to local media reports, a new mobile
phone or tablet carrying the Baidu name could be available as early
as November. "We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have
the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space," a
Dell spokeswoman told Reuters. Ahead of the bell, the shares of
BIDU are trading about 3.1% lower, while DELL has shed roughly
Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Altera (
), FuelCell Energy (
), KongZhong (
), Pep Boys (
), and VeriFone Systems (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The ISM services index for August is due out today, while the
Fed's Beige Book report for September will hit the Street on
Wednesday. Thursday features the usual weekly report on jobless
claims, as well as July's trade balance. Crude inventories are also
due out one day later than usual, thanks to Monday's holiday. On
Friday, wholesale inventories for July will round out the week's
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 725,864 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
606,779 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.84, while the 21-day moving average was 0.78.
The summer 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
Stocks in Asia ended mostly lower today, pressured by familiar
concerns about European debt and the U.S. economy. Against this
backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty, energy and resource issues
were hit particularly hard. In fact, Tokyo-listed equities dropped
to their lowest close in more than two years, and tagged their
worst intraday price since the aftermath of the March tsunami.
Meanwhile, Shanghai's benchmark tumbled to a 13-month nadir, while
Seoul-listed securities swallowed their third straight day of
losses. However, Hong Kong managed to eke out a win, as
bargain-hunters crept into the market following recent declines. By
the close, Japan's Nikkei lost 2.2%, South Korea's Kospi slid 1.1%,
China's Shanghai Composite gave back 0.3%, and Hong Kong's Hang
Seng added 0.5%.
Conversely, European indexes are headed higher at midday, led by
gains in Switzerland after the country's central bank unveiled
plans to enforce a minimum exchange rate versus the euro. Elsewhere
in the region, Royal Bank of Scotland regained some of the prior
session's losses after being named in an FHFA lawsuit late Friday.
At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.9%, and the German DAX and
French CAC 40 have each added about 0.1%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading modestly higher this morning, with the
U.S. dollar index up about 0.2%, at last check. Elsewhere, crude
oil futures have extended Friday's retreat, with the front-month
contract last seen $1.94, or 2.2%, lower at $84.51 per barrel. On
the flip side, gold futures have continued their quest for record
highs, with the precious metal up $9.30, or 0.5%, to linger near
$1,886.20 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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