The blue chips gained ground on Tuesday, thanks to a solid
earnings showing from
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
. Today, however, it's the tech sector's turn to blaze the trail
higher, with Intel Corp. (INTC) and Yahoo! (YHOO) among the few
industry bigwigs basking in the early earnings spotlight. In
addition, telecom titan AT&T (T) is set to explore the black
after narrowly surpassing analysts' per-share profit projections,
though fellow Dow diva IBM Corp. (IBM) has given up last night's
after-hours lead as traders digest its revised full-year guidance.
Nevertheless, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA ) is trading
about 154 points above fair value, while the broader S&P 500
Index (SPX ) is set to open with a healthy 17.5-point advance.
In equities news, Intel Corp. (INTC - 19.86) said it earned 59
cents per share, excluding items, in the first quarter, surpassing
analysts' estimates for a profit of 46 cents per share. Meanwhile,
revenue jumped 25% to a record $12.85 billion, blowing past INTC's
own guidance for sales of $10.8 billion to $11.6 billion. The
company also forecast current-quarter revenue of $12.3 billion to
$13.3 billion, compared to the Street's predictions for revenue of
$11.87 billion. President and CEO Paul Otellini attributed the
solid earnings showing to "double-digit annual growth in every
major product segment and across all geographies." At last check,
INTC is set to open more than 6% higher.
Elsewhere, fellow blue chip IBM Corp. (IBM - 165.40) reported a
first-quarter profit, excluding items, of $2.41 per share,
surpassing the Street's estimates for earnings of $2.30 per share.
In the same vein, revenue jumped a year-over-year 8% to $24.6
billion, edging past analysts' forecast for sales of $24 billion.
Furthermore, IBM said it now expects to record full-year earnings,
excluding items, of no less than $13.15 per share, compared to its
previous per-share target of at least $13. Nevertheless, the shares
of IBM are poised to open about 1.1% lower, with some analysts
attributing the pre-market dip to disappointment that the firm
didn't up its guidance even more.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO - 16.12) reported a first-quarter
profit of $223 million, or 17 cents per share, down from its
year-ago earnings of $310 million, or 22 cents per share. Excluding
items, YHOO banked a profit of 19 cents per share, surpassing
analysts' consensus estimate of 16 cents per share. Net revenue of
$1.064 billion also came in stronger than expected, topping Wall
Street's forecast of $1.055 billion. Ahead of the bell, YHOO is
positioned for a 3.6% jump right out of the gate.
Finally, AT&T (T - 30.31) unveiled a first-quarter profit of
$3.41 billion, or 57 cents per share -- up 39% from the year-ago
period. Excluding items, T earned 58 cents per share, narrowly
surpassing analysts' expectations for 57 cents per share. However,
Ma Bell's quarterly revenue of $31.25 billion fell just short of
the consensus estimate for $31.26 billion. The telecom titan added
a record 2 million wireless subscribers during the first quarter,
and -- despite new competition from fellow Dow component Verizon --
iPhone activations climbed to 3.6 million. At last check, T is set
to open with a 1.5% gain.
Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Apple Inc. (
), American Express (
), EMC Corp. (
), United Technologies (UTX), E*TRADE Financial (
), and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (
), just to name a few. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
Today we'll see March's existing-home sales report, as well as
the Energy Department's weekly crude inventories report. The
holiday-shortened week will end tomorrow, with weekly jobless data,
the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators, and
reports on Philadelphia-area manufacturing on the docket.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,199,211 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
779,755 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
docked at 0.65, while the 21-day moving average jumped to 0.59.
The spring 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
Asian stocks ended in the black today, with Japanese equities
rising in spite of data showing the first decline in exports in 16
months in March. Toshiba Corp. led the advancers, after a newspaper
reported that Apple Inc. (
) has selected the firm as its exclusive Japanese supplier of
liquid crystal panels. By the close, the Shanghai Composite added
0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 1.6%, and Japan's Nikkei tacked
on a healthy 1.8%. South Korea's Kospi, meanwhile, soared 2.2% with
help from a sector-wide rally among steelmakers.
European markets were also trading notably higher, as a solid
round of earnings from the U.S. lifted tech stocks. In Paris,
carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen soared more than 4.5% after
reiterating its full-year outlook, while makeup mogul L'Oreal SA
added nearly 3% after reporting a 9.3% increase in first-quarter
sales. In the U.K., mining stocks were fueling the bullish
momentum, after J.P. Morgan Cazenove waxed optimistic on Xstrata
PLC. At last check, London's FTSE has added 2.3%, France's CAC 40
has advanced 2.5%, and Germany's DAX has soared close to 2.8%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback has ticked lower this morning, with the U.S.
dollar index down almost 0.9%. Elsewhere, crude futures have
powered higher in early trading, thanks to reports of escalating
post-election violence in Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer.
At last check, the May-dated contract has added 1.2% to flirt with
$109.54 per barrel. Gold futures, meanwhile, have extended their
climb above the $1,500-an-ounce marker. In pre-market action, the
front-month contract has added 0.6% to trade at $1,504.50 an
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our
Open Interest Configurations
Every morning, our research staff analyzes the prior day
and the overnight markets, and monitors the morning wires to
give you an accurate preview of the day to come. If you enjoyed
today's edition of Opening View, sign up
for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.