The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 134 points on
Tuesday to close at its lowest level since July 7. However, the
blue-chip barometer held psychological support at the 10,000 level,
as market bulls came out early in defense. However, if today's
economic reports on new home sales and durable goods miss the mark,
DJIA bulls could be kissing goodbye to 10K and potentially saying
hello to 2010's lows near 9,600 in short order. As for the S&P
500 Index (SPX), the broad-market index is trading just above
potential support near 1,045, though a poor round of economic data
could have a chilling effect. Heading into the open, Wall Street
doesn't look too optimistic, with futures on the DJIA and the SPX
trading about 26 points and 2.6 points below fair value,
respectively. Finally, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) broke
out to a two-month high on Tuesday, and is threatening to close
above short-term resistance in the 28 region. As I have said
before, a continued rise in the VIX does not bode well for the
In equity news, Toll Brothers Inc., (
) said that it swung to third-quarter profit of $27.3 million, or
16 cents per share, from a loss of $472.3 million, or $2.93 per
share, last year. Revenue slipped to $454.2 million from $461.4
million a year ago. Analysts were looking for a loss of 14 cents
per share on revenue of $392.9 million.
Elsewhere, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (
) said that its second-quarter loss widened to $23.5 million, or 36
cents per share, from $14.2 million, or 22 cents per share, a year
ago. Excluding one-time items, the company would have reported a
loss of 22 cents per share. Revenue fell to $218.3 million from
$242.8 million in the year-ago period. Analysts estimated a loss of
23 cents per share on revenue of $213.3 million.
On the earnings front, American Eagle Outfitters (
), Guess?, Inc. (
), JDS Uniphase Corp. (
), and TiVo Inc. (
) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings reports today.
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic calendar offers up July's durable goods orders
today, as well as new home sales, and the weekly report on U.S.
petroleum supplies. Weekly initial jobless claims will arrive on
Thursday, while Friday rounds out the week with a second look at
second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product and the final reading on
the University of Michigan's August consumer sentiment index.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,055,972 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
774,594 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.73, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.64.
**The volume data shown above is from the Nasdaq and NYSE
exchanges only. It does not include regional volume activity,
which means that other daily volume quotes you see may be
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Overseas trading looks abysmal this morning, as none of the 10
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of
0.90%. In Asia, regional indexes attempted a rebound, but were
smacked lower in late trading, with the Japanese Nikkei narrowly
avoiding a 2% loss on the day. China's Shanghai wasn't as lucky.
The rising yen remains Japan's biggest concern, as the currency hit
a 15-year high versus the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, sapping strength
from the country's exporters. Despite generally positive economic
data, European markets are also headed broadly lower. Germany's Ifo
business-sentiment index climbed to its highest level since
mid-2007, but this was largely overshadowed by Standard &
Poor's downgrade of Ireland's credit ratings.
Currencies and Commodities
After closing at an 11-week low on Wednesday, oil prices
regained some of that ground in Asian trading due to a spot of
weakness in the U.S. dollar. Crude is holding onto some of that
ground in electronic trading state-side, with the front-month
contract rising 0.29% to $71.84 per barrel. Speaking of the U.S.
dollar, the greenback took a breather in overnight trading, as
traders repositioned themselves in the euro and the yen. However,
the U.S. Dollar Index appears to be headed higher once again this
morning, gaining 0.17% to trade at 83.29 at last check. Finally,
gold futures have gained $5.50 in to trade at $1,238.90 in London -
an eight-week high for the malleable metal.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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