Stocks notched their first win of the week on Wednesday, thanks
to a rebound in the commodities pits and easing concerns about
European debt. In pre-market action this morning, buyers are
standing on the sidelines ahead of the government's revised
estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product (
), which will likely determine the initial direction on the Street.
In the meantime, traders are digesting the latest round of
corporate earnings reports, with Tiffany (
) and H.J. Heinz (HNZ) among the companies in the spotlight. At
last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA ) is trading
about 8.7 points below fair value -- however, history is on the
bulls' side. As we noted in this week's edition of
Monday Morning Outlook
, Thursday tends to be the strongest day of the pre-Memorial Day
In equities news, NetApp (NTAP - 51.73) banked a fiscal
fourth-quarter profit of $160.6 million, or 40 cents per share, up
from its year-ago earnings of $145.1 million. On an adjusted basis,
NTAP's profit weighed in at 59 cents per share, while revenue rose
22% to $1.43 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit
of 53 cents per share on $1.39 billion in revenue. Looking ahead,
NTAP predicted first-quarter earnings of 52 cents to 57 cents per
share, with revenue expected to arrive somewhere around $1.5
billion, plus or minus 3%. Consensus estimates on Wall Street were
calling for a profit of 50 cents per share on $1.51 billion in
revenue. At last check, NTAP is up 2.9%.
Elsewhere, Guess Inc. (GES - 40.10) reported first-quarter
earnings of $42.7 million, or 46 cents per share, down 15% from its
year-ago profit of $50.3 million, or 54 cents per share. Sales for
the quarter improved 10% to $592 million. The results comfortably
surpassed analysts' expectations for a profit of 44 cents per share
on $567.7 million in revenue. GES said it's expecting a
second-quarter profit of 77 cents to 83 cents per share,
encompassing Wall Street's forecast of 79 cents per share. Ahead of
the bell, GES has skyrocketed more than 12%.
Moving on, Tiffany (TIF - 70.04) reported a first-quarter profit
of $81.1 million, or 63 cents per share, marking a 26% increase
from the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, the high-end jeweler
earned 67 cents per share, while sales jumped 20% to $761 million.
Analysts, on average, were anticipating an adjusted profit of 57
cents per share on revenue of $704 million. Looking ahead, TIF
upped its full-year profit outlook by 10 cents per share, to a
range of $3.45 to $3.55. In pre-market trading, TIF is up nearly
Finally, H.J. Heinz (HNZ - 53.39) said fourth-quarter earnings
rose a year-over-year 16% to $223.9 million, or 69 cents per share,
falling shy of expectations for a per-share profit of 72 cents.
Revenue increased 6% to $2.89 billion, compared to analysts'
projections for sales of $2.88 billion. The company's board also
raised its quarterly dividend by 6.7% to $1.92 per share, but
forecast full-year earnings in a range of $3.24 to $3.32 per share
-- below the Street's consensus estimate for a profit of $3.33 per
share. At last look, HNZ is poised to open with a 1.2% gain.
Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Big Lots (
), Blue Coat Systems (
), Marvell Technology (
), and OmniVision Technologies (OVTI), just to name a few. Keep
your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
Today, the Commerce Department will issue its first-quarter GDP
revision, while the Labor Department will release the latest data
on weekly jobless claims. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Fed will
unveil its manufacturing index for May. The economic schedule wraps
up on Friday, with reports due out on personal incomes and
spending, pending home sales for April, and the final
Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,153,285 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared
to 577,444 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call
ratio docked at 0.50 -- the lowest since Feb. 25 -- while the
21-day moving average remained at 0.65.
The spring 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
Stocks in Asia ended mostly higher today, with energy stocks
catching a lift from crude oil's rebound. In Japan, Canon enjoyed a
robust rally after announcing plans for a stock buyback plan worth
up to 50 billion yen, while Sony shares edged higher ahead of the
company's post-close earnings report. Automakers continued to rev
higher in Korea, with Hyundai and Kia extending their recent bout
of strength. However, stocks in Beijing slipped to a four-month
nadir, with small caps leading a late-session sell-off. By the
close, South Korea's Kospi rose 2.8%, Japan's Nikkei added 1.5%,
Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.7%, and China's Shanghai
Composite gave up 0.2%.
European markets are mixed at midday. A poorly received earnings
report from Burberry sparked weakness in fellow luxury retailers,
as traders panned the company's lackluster margin forecast. Tire
titan Michelin rose in Paris, buoyed by an upgrade at J.P. Morgan
Cazenove, even as automakers across the region struggled. In
Frankfurt, Bayer lost ground after a Citigroup downgrade to "sell,"
but Commerzbank AG moved higher after Fitch Ratings offered a vote
of confidence for German banks. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is
up 0.4%, the French CAC 40 is about 0.2% higher, and the German DAX
has dipped 0.2%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback has continued its retreat, with the U.S. dollar
index down about 0.5%. Elsewhere, after cruising to a new two-week
high on Wednesday, black gold has lost some ground ahead of the
bell. At last check, the front-month crude contract is down $0.74,
or 0.7%, at $100.58 per barrel. Meanwhile, gold futures have also
pulled back in pre-market trading, with the front-month contract
surrendering $6.80, or 0.5%, to trade at $1,519.90 an ounce. In the
same vein, silver futures have backpedaled $0.82, or 2.2%, to flirt
with $36.82 an ounce.
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.