Opening View: Dow Futures Higher as Street Focuses on (Steve) Jobs


Last week ended with a thud, as a double-whammy of economic data resulted in a fifth straight week of losses for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA ). However, it's the start of a new week, and with no major economic reports due out today, it seems that traders are putting their faith in technology; specifically, the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off today with a keynote address from Mr. Steve Jobs himself. Ahead of the bell this morning, Dow futures are trading roughly 12 points above fair value, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX ) is set to open with a 5.5-point drop.

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Back to (AAPL - 343.44) -- CEO Steve Jobs is slated to take the stage today at 1 p.m. Eastern during the company's San Francisco conference. The executive - who's been on medical leave for months - is expected to unveil the next generation of Apple's iOS and Mac OSX operating systems, as well as a new iCloud service.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG - 83.74) said its board recommended that stakeholders not tender their shares in response to a buyout bid from Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ - 15.31). Last month, HTZ made an offer of roughly $72 per share for DTG, trumping a previous offer from fellow potential suitor Avis Budget Group (CAR - 16.74), valued at about $56.74 per share. DTG said its board made the recommendation to shareholders "given the uncertainty surrounding the length and outcome of the regulatory process as Hertz and Avis Budget work towards antitrust clearance," according to President and CEO Scott Thompson.

Exco Resources (XCO - 19.25) said an incident at a Louisiana plant on May 28 killed one worker and critically injured a second. The firm said production interruptions could last for several weeks, and that it's shuttering a second Louisiana-based amine treating facility as a precaution. The temporary closure is expected to halt the production of about 10 million to 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Earnings Preview

Today's earnings docket will feature reports from FuelCell Energy ( FCEL ), G-III Apparel Group ( GIII ), Mitcham Industries ( MIND ), and Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack ( PBY ), to name a few. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

No economic releases of note on today's agenda. Tuesday will feature the Federal Reserve's consumer credit report for the month of April, along with the Redbook retail sales report. In addition, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is slated to address the International Monetary Conference, while Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart will speak on the economic outlook before the Charlotte Economics Club. Wednesday will bring us the Mortgage Bankers Association's ( MBA ) monthly mortgage index, as well as the regularly scheduled crude inventories report and the Fed's Beige Book - a summary of economic conditions across the country. The government's weekly report on first-time unemployment filings will hit the Street on Thursday, as will the Commerce Department's wholesale inventories report. Friday will wrap up with the government's monthly import and export figures.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 839,185 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 605,562 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio docked at 0.72, while the 21-day moving average was perched at 0.66.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

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Overseas Trading

Many Asian markets were closed for holiday today, including those in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. However, Japan's Nikkei tumbled to its lowest close in 11 weeks, pressured in part by disappointing U.S. jobs data. Tokyo Electric Power also weighed on investor sentiment, after Kyodo News predicted that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will report a net loss of 570 billion yen for fiscal 2012. By the close, the Nikkei shed 1.2% to settle at 9,830.35.

European stocks are also headed south, extending the Friday afternoon sell-off sparked by that grim U.S. payrolls report. Cyclical stocks are blazing the path lower after a cautious note from analysts at Goldman Sachs, while the International Air Transport Association (IATA) created turbulence for airline issues by slashing its profit forecast for the sector. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 0.8%, Germany's DAX has dropped 0.4%, and London's FTSE 100 is 0.1% higher.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

After hitting a one-month low against the euro last week -- the euro reached its strongest level in a month on hopes for a new aid package for debt-addled Greece -- the U.S. dollar index is trading fractionally higher this morning. Elsewhere, black gold is trading just below the century mark, following last week's disappointing jobs report. At last check, the front-month contract was down 93 cents, or almost 0.9%, to linger near $99.27 per barrel. Meanwhile, traders have flocked to safe haven assets like gold, with the front month contract up $3.90, or 0.3%, to trade at 1,546.30 an ounce.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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 here for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the opening bell.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: FCEL , GIII , MBA , MIND , PBY

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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