U.S. stocks are set to rebound out of the gate today, as Wall
Street cheers the latest developments from across the pond.
Specifically, Germany's lower house of parliament
followed Finland's lead
, voting to approve a proposed expansion to the European Financial
Stability Facility (EFSF). The news has helped to overshadow some
uninspiring comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke,
who last night called the current unemployment backdrop "a national
crisis," and called on Capitol Hill to implement policies that
would put people back to work. However, the bulls aren't yet out of
the woods, with officials from the European Union (
), European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (
) slated to converge on Athens to review Greece's compliance with
bailout requirements. Nevertheless, the Dow Jones Industrial
Average (DJIA) is flirting with a triple-digit lead ahead of the
bell, while the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) is lingering about
9.5 points above fair value.
In earnings news, Mosaic (MOS - 57.19) reported a fiscal
first-quarter profit of $526 million, or $1.17 per share, up 77%
from its year-ago earnings of $297.7 million, or 67 cents per
share. Net sales rose 41% to $3.1 billion, while gross margin
expanded to 27.5% from 23.1%. "The increase in gross margin and
operating earnings was driven primarily by higher selling prices
and improved potash operating rates, partially offset by increased
phosphates raw material costs," according to a company release. The
results were mixed, with analysts looking for a healthier profit of
$1.29 per share on just $2.92 billion in revenue. At last check,
MOS is headed for a 1.4% rise out of the gate.
Thor Industries, Inc. (THO - 20.31) said its fiscal
fourth-quarter profit fell 9.1% to $36.9 million, or 66 cents per
share, from $40.6 million, or 78 cents per share, in the year-ago
quarter. Net sales, meanwhile, jumped 16% to $770.5 million.
Although the company reported a 10% drop in sales of motor homes
for the quarter, sales of towable RVs increased by 21%. "We look to
RV retail sales to pull through wholesale shipments in the year
ahead, and to improving conditions in the 2012 public
transportation market to fuel better bus sales," stated Chairman
and CEO Peter B. Orthwein. THO's quarterly results just topped
analysts' expectations for a profit of 61 cents per share on
revenue of $769.1 million.
Finally, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - 6.15) last night cut its
third-quarter revenue guidance and gross margin forecast, citing
manufacturing issues at Globalfoundries, a German supplier of its
computing chip. Specifically, the firm now expects revenue to rise
4% to 6% sequentially -- about half of its previous projections for
an 8% to 12% rise. Meanwhile, AMD now expects gross margins to come
in around 44% to 45%, below its previous view for 47%. In
pre-market trading, AMD is set to shed 11.4% at the open.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from
), DemandTec (
), Micron Technology (
), AZZ Inc. (AZZ), and Xyratex (XRTX). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic agenda heats up with the final second-quarter gross
domestic product (GDP) figures, pending home sales data for July,
and the usual weekly jobless claims on tap. We'll wrap up the week
with reports on personal income and spending for August, the latest
Reuters/UMich sentiment index, and the Chicago purchasing managers
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 625,736 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to
521,166 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.83, while the 21-day moving average was 0.71.
The summer 2011 issue of
magazine is now available here.
European indexes are in the red at midday, despite the German
parliament's vote in favor of the proposed EFSF expansion. The
measure was passed by a wide majority, easing some concerns about
Chancellor Angela Merkel's ability to rally the troops -- but
traders are keeping a wary eye on Greece, with officials from the
EU, ECB, and IMF paying a visit to Athens today to review the
country's compliance with bailout requirements. At last check,
London's FTSE 100 is off 0.6%, the German DAX is down 0.04%, and
the French CAC 40 has slipped 0.1%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading modestly lower this morning, with the
U.S. dollar index down about 0.1% at last check. Crude futures,
meanwhile, have pared a portion of Wednesday's losses, with the
front-month contract up 18 cents, or 0.2%, to trade near $81.39 per
barrel. On the flip side, traders continue to take profits on gold,
with the malleable metal last seen $2.60, or 0.2%, lower at
$1,615.50 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.