U.S. stocks are poised to
continue where they left off
this morning, with the bulls once again in control ahead of the
bell. Bolstering pre-market sentiment are hopes for a resolution to
the European debt drama, with expectations high ahead of a meeting
between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister
George Papandreou. Furthermore, speculation that the European
Central Bank (ECB) may soon cut rates, as well as news that
officials are considering a plan to leverage the European Financial
Stability Fund (EFSF) and recapitalize certain banks, is also
fueling pre-market optimism. At last check, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJIA) is headed for another triple-digit jump,
while the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) is trading about 20
points north of fair value.
In earnings news, Walgreen (WAG - 36.03) reported an adjusted
profit of 57 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter,
surpassing analysts' expectations for a per-share profit of 55
cents. Meanwhile, revenue rose 6.5% to $18 billion, topping the
Street's projections for quarterly sales of $17.92 billion. In
addition, WAG said same-store sales jumped 4.4%, while prescription
sales -- which accounted for 65.4% of total sales for the quarter
-- climbed 5.7%. In pre-market trading, WAG is up 0.8%.
Elsewhere, Accuride (ACW - 8.13) last night cut its full-year
forecast, citing "market conditions," "performance issues," and a
"slower-than-anticipated turnaround in performance at our Gunite
business." The manufacturing concern now expects bottom-line
earnings to range between a profit of 4 cents and a loss of 5 cents
per share, with sales projected between $950 million and $975
million. Previously, ACW forecast 2011 earnings of 40 cents to 50
cents per share on sales of $950 million to $1 billion. Separately,
the company also announced the sale of its Fabco Automotive
subsidiary. At last check, ACW is headed for an 8% drop out of the
In equities news, Renren Inc. (RENN - 5.35) last night agreed to
acquire 56.com -- one of China's video-sharing websites -- for $80
million. Renren said it expects the deal to close sometime in the
fourth quarter, and hopes 56.com will help it better integrate
video applications with its social networking site. Ahead of the
bell, RENN is pointed 9.9% higher.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from American
), Accenture (
), Jabil Circuit (
), Sealy Corp. (
), and Paychex (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
Today, 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 product (GDP) 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 index (PMI).
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 919,383 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to
543,907 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.59, while the 21-day moving average was 0.70.
The summer 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
Benchmark indexes in Europe are also on the upswing, as hopes
are high that regulators may finally be near a plan to contain the
region's debt crisis. Traders are looking forward to that scheduled
meeting today between German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime
Minister Papandreou, as Greece attempts to appease bailout
officials to secure a much-needed tranche of aid. At last check,
the German DAX and the French CAC 40 are both 4.3% higher, and
London's FTSE 100 has tacked on 3.1%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading lower this morning, with the U.S.
dollar index down 0.6% at last check. Crude futures, meanwhile,
have extended yesterday's rebound, with the front-month contract up
$2.18, or 2.7%, ahead of the bell. What's more, gold futures have
bounced back from their recent drubbing, advancing $76.90, or 4.8%,
to climb back atop $1,600 an ounce. At last check, the malleable
metal was flirting with the $1,671.70-an-ounce level.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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