Opening View: Traders Sit on Sidelines Ahead of Greek Vote, ISM Data

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The Street's at a bit of a standstill this morning, as traders opt to sit on the sidelines ahead of several key economic reports due out later this week. Specifically, the Greek parliament is expected to vote Wednesday on 78 billion euros (roughly $111.4 billion) in proposed austerity and privatization measures, followed by a vote on implementation measures on Thursday. Meanwhile, on Friday, the highly anticipated ISM index will shed light on whether the recent bout of soft data is simply temporary weakness or indicative of a greater downturn in the economic recovery. With the stakes high ahead of these events, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA ) are trading just 9.4 points higher, while S&P 500 Index (SPX ) futures are fractionally lower.

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Nike Inc. (NKE - 81.62) last night reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $594 million, or $1.24 per share, compared to a profit of $522 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier. Revenue, meanwhile, jumped 14% to $5.77 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting a slimmer profit of $1.16 per share on sales of $5.53 billion. The athletic apparel issue attributed the stronger-than-expected figures to robust sales in North America, China, and emerging markets. Ahead of the open, NKE has added nearly 3.9%.

Standard Microsystems (SMSC - 24.01) said it earned $6.2 million, or 26 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter, up significantly from its year-ago earnings of $0.6 million, or 3 cents per share. Excluding items, the company earned 47 cents per share, handily topping Wall Street's expectations for an adjusted per-share profit of 29 cents. Revenue for the quarter came in at $103.5 million, exceeding the Street's consensus forecast for sales of $101.3 million. Meanwhile, SMSC projected a fiscal second-quarter profit of 36 cents to 38 cents per share on revenue of $112 million to $114 million. Analysts, on average, are looking for current-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share on sales of $107.7 million. SMSC is up 3% in pre-market trading.

Accenture plc (ACN - 57.79) will make its debut on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) after the close on Tuesday, July 5. The consulting firm will replace Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which is set to be acquired by Bank of Montreal. Ahead of the open, ACN has jumped over 5% higher.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - 52.29) will be expanding its presence in China, the company announced today. Specifically, the mega-retailer said it signed an agreement with the Shanghai government to establish a China e-commerce headquarters in the city, as part of its online strategy to gain a greater share of the country's growing retail market. In fact, as U.S. sales slow, WMT is expanding its presence in up-and-coming markets, such as China, Mexico, and Brazil. "The scale of online sales in China is expanding rapidly and is projected to match U.S. online sales in the next few years," explained Wan Ling Martello, Wal-Mart's Executive Vice President of Global e-Commerce.

Earnings Preview

Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Omnova Solutions ( OMN ), Progress Software ( PRGS ), RF Monolithics ( RFMI ), Sealy Corp. ( ZZ ), Shaw Group ( SHAW ), and Synnex Corp. (SNX). Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for April hits the Street today, accompanied by the Conference Board's consumer confidence index and the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for June. Wednesday features the regularly scheduled report on domestic petroleum inventories, along with a double dose of housing data: May's pending home sales and the weekly MBA mortgage applications index. Weekly jobless claims are on Thursday's docket, and traders will also eye the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) for June. The week wraps up Friday with the ISM manufacturing index, the final Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for June, May's construction spending report, and auto and truck sales for June.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 825,571 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 517,749 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio docked at 0.76, while the 21-day moving average was perched at 0.76.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

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Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia ended mostly higher today, after French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered his support for a plan to extend the maturity of short-term Greek bonds. In fact, Shanghai-listed securities eked out their sixth consecutive day of gains, while equities in Tokyo approached a three-week peak. Meanwhile, gains were relatively muted in Hong Kong -- where China Construction Bank was hit hard by concerns over a possible stake sale by Bank of America (BAC) -- and stocks in Seoul settled modestly lower on selling by foreign investors. By the close, Japan's Nikkei added 0.7%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.09%, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.04%, and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.4%.

Markets in Europe are wobbling around the breakeven line today, as traders seem unwilling to price in too much Greece-related optimism ahead of key parliamentary votes on Wednesday and Thursday. Investors are also considering comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet, who said policymakers are in "strong vigilance mode" when it comes to inflation -- hinting at a forthcoming rate hike at the group's July meeting. On the earnings front, profit warnings from telecom company Cable & Wireless Worldwide and GPS giant TomTom are also keeping sentiment under pressure. At last check, the German DAX is down 0.2%, while the French CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 have each added 0.4%.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

Black gold has edged higher this morning, rebounding from Monday's lows. Crude has been hit hard during the past few weeks as a result of mounting anxieties over supply and demand, as well as increasing signs of stalled economic growth. Ahead of the open, the August-dated contract was up 0.4 point, or 0.4%. Meanwhile, the greenback is standing pat this morning, hovering right around breakeven as traders show hesitation to invest in any currency ahead of this week's vote from the Greek parliament. Finally, gold has enjoyed a nice boost as a result of a struggling dollar, with the precious metal up 6.3 points, or 0.4%, in pre-market activity.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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This article appears in: Investing , Options
Referenced Symbols: OMN , PRGS , RFMI , SHAW , ZZ

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