last week's drubbing
Across the pond, rumors are swirling that Germany and France are
in discussions to find additional ways to shore up the struggling
euro zone, possibly through bailout fund insurance of bonds among
various European countries. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJIA) is headed over 220 points higher. In the
same vein, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is up over 28 points,
possibly on track to
snap its losing streak
of seven consecutive sessions.
Ahead of Tuesday's investor day, UnitedHealth Group (UNH -
43.67) backed its 2011 earnings guidance of $4.52 to $4.57 per
share, and predicted a fiscal 2012 profit of $4.55 to $4.75 per
share. For comparison, Wall Street is predicting a profit of $4.55
per share for 2011, and $4.75 per share for 2012. Shares of UNH are
headed fractionally higher in pre-market trading.
In equities news, Red Hat, Inc. (RHT - 44.93) announced that its
Executive Vice President of Sales, Services, & Field Marketing,
Alex Pinchev, has resigned, effective Jan. 16, 2012. Pinchev is
taking over the CEO position for a privately owned software
company. Ahead of the bell, RHT is trading 1.3% lower.
Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Copart (
) and Hillenbrand (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic calendar kicks off today with a report on new home
sales. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index is scheduled to
hit the Street on Tuesday, along with the Conference Board's
monthly report on consumer confidence. Employment data starts to
trickle in on Wednesday, with the release of the Challenger, Gray
& Christmas report on job cuts, and ADP's private payrolls
number for November. Also on tap are the Chicago PMI, pending home
sales, and the Fed's Beige Book. Thursday features the ISM
manufacturing index, as well as construction spending data and the
usual report on weekly jobless claims. The week wraps up with a
bang on Friday, when the Labor Department unveils its monthly
nonfarm payrolls report.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 333,887 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 255,832
put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived
at 0.77, while the 21-day moving average was 0.73.
Stocks in Asia ended higher across the board today, boosted by
hints of progress on the European debt crisis. Specifically,
Reuters reported that euro-zone leaders will convene Tuesday to set
forth concrete rules to leverage the region's bailout fund, taking
a long-awaited step to support cash-strapped governments.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (
) eventually denied speculation that it was prepared to release a
large tranche of aid to Italy, but not until after Asian investors
responded enthusiastically to the news. By the close, South Korea's
Kospi rose 2.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 2%, Japan's Nikkei
climbed 1.6%, and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.1%.
The major European indexes are also pointed north at midday,
bolstered by reports that France and Germany are ready to move
forward with the proposed expansion of the European Financial
Stability Facility (EFSF). In fact, traders are completely
shrugging off a negative note from Moody's this morning, with the
ratings agency warning that the ongoing euro-zone debt drama is
"threatening the credit standing of all European sovereigns." At
last check, the French CAC 40 is up 3.8%, the German DAX has tacked
on 3.4%, and London's FTSE 100 has risen 2.2%.
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar index is down almost 1%, at last check, to trade
in the $79 neighborhood. Crude futures, meanwhile, are on pace to
start the week solidly in the black. The front-month contract was
last seen over 3% higher, trading just a whisper under the century
mark at $99.73 per barrel. Gold futures are headed north, as well,
with the malleable metal up 1.6% near $1,715.60 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
Due to technical issues, the Unusual Put and Call Activity
charts are unavailable today. We apologize for any
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.