The holiday-shortened week looks to be off to a promising start,
as futures on all three major indexes are pointing higher. Traders
today are likely wondering whether the markets can continue
Friday's positive momentum, as the Dow is still flying high from
its best close since March 2009. However, with today's economic and
earnings calendars looking light, stocks could be left hanging in
the balance. Ahead of the open, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial
Average (DJIA ) are trading about 16 points above fair value.
Energy Transfer Equity, LP's (ETE - 44.68) buyout offer for
Southern Union Company (SUG - 40.37) has been unanimously accepted
by SUG's board. The offer gives Southern Union stockholders the
option of exchanging each of their common shares for $40 in cash or
0.903 of a common unit of ETE, with a collar on the cash component
set at 60% of the aggregate consideration. Last month, Williams
Company's $39-per-share offer for SUG was rejected by its board.
Ahead of the open, SUG has added over 4%.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - 26.02) and Baidu, Inc. (BIDU -
143.35) have teamed up to expand their presence in the global
marketplace, according to a
Wall Street Journal
report out this morning. More specifically, BIDU has entered into
an agreement with MSFT to source results for its English-language
searches through the tech company's Bing program.
Dow component Pfizer Inc. (PFE - 20.75) is attempting to shrug
off a report published in a Canadian medical journal on Monday. The
report linked PFE's smoking cessation drug Chantix to a heightened
risk of a heart attack. PFE said in a response Monday that it
"stands behind the benefit/risk profile of Chantix," citing more
than 14 clinical trials. The pharmaceutical stock is 0.4% lower
ahead of the open.
Today's earnings docket will feature a report from Gravity Co. (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic calendar kicks off today with factory orders for
May. On Wednesday, the ISM services index for June is due out,
along with the regularly scheduled weekly report on mortgage
applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (
). Employment data takes the spotlight on Thursday, with the day's
docket featuring ADP's private-sector payrolls report for June, as
well as the Labor Department's usual update on weekly jobless
claims. Crude inventories will also hit the Street one day later
than usual, due to the July 4 holiday. Ahead of Friday's opening
bell, all eyes will be on the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls
report for June. Later in the session, traders will also hear about
May's wholesale inventories.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,014,193 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
567,679 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
docked at 0.56, while the 21-day moving average was perched at
The spring 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
Asian markets ended mixed today. Financial stocks were a pocket
of weakness in China and Hong Kong, after Moody's warned that the
sector may have greater-than-anticipated exposure to local
government debt. Plus, anxiety was further exacerbated by media
reports indicating that the central bank may be on the verge of
another rate hike. Elsewhere, Korean equities collected their fifth
straight day of gains, led by rumored takeover target Hynix
Semiconductor. Likewise, speculation about a potential tie-up
between Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange helped
fuel Japanese stocks to their sixth winning session in a row. By
the close, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.1%, Japan's Nikkei
edged 0.07% higher, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.1%, and
South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.8%.
European indexes are also planted on both sides of the breakeven
line at midday. The Markit composite purchasing managers index (
) for the euro zone came in weaker than expected, but traders have
generally taken the news in stride. Tullow Oil is a standout in
London after predicting record revenues during the first half of
2011, while Carrefour is enduring some volatile trading in Paris
after spinning off its Dia discount retail unit. At last check, the
French CAC 40 is down 0.4%, while London's FTSE 100 is 0.1% higher,
and the German DAX has added 0.2%.
Currencies and Commodities
The dollar has gained ground against its peers this morning,
adding 0.2 point, or 0.2%, ahead of the open. The greenback has
continued to advance as a result of economic uncertainties plaguing
the euro zone. Meanwhile, gold futures have also risen this
morning, muscling above the psychologically significant $1,500
level. At last check, gold futures were up 21.3 points, or 1.4%.
Finally, even black gold is trading higher in pre-market activity,
up 0.4 point, or 0.4%, at last check.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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