Opening View: U.S. Stock Futures Flat Ahead of Bull-Market Anniversary

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Technically, the DJIA soared 124 points on Tuesday to reclaim potential short-term support at the 12,200 level. The area is also home to the Dow's 20-day moving average. Still, resistance lingers overhead in the 12,250-12,300 region. The SPX, however, was unable to reclaim its own 20-day moving average, with the broad-market index finding resistance in the 1,325 area. Support, meanwhile, continues to hold at the SPX's rising 10-week moving average. The index has not closed a week below this trendline since late August 2010. Finally, traders should keep a close watch on 1,333.58, which marks a double of the SPX's March 2009 intraday low .

In earnings news, Navistar International Corp. ( NAV ) said that it swung to a first-quarter loss of $6 million, or 8 cents per share, from a profit of $19 million, or 26 cents per share, last year. On an adjusted basis, NAV earned 16 cents per share in the quarter, with revenue coming in at $2.74 billion. Wall Street was expecting a profit of 24 cents per share on revenue of $2.89 billion. Looking ahead to fiscal 2011, the company affirmed its outlook for adjusted earnings of $5 to $6 per share on an adjusted basis. The current consensus estimate places expectations at $5.17 per share for 2011.


After the close last night, Texas Instruments Inc. ( TXN ) narrowed its first-quarter sales forecast to a range of $3.34 billion to $3.48 billion. The company had previously expected sales of $3.27 billion to $3.55 billion. TXN also narrowed its earnings expectations to between 56 cents to 60 cents per share, compared with a prior forecast for a profit of 54 cents to 62 cents per share.

Finally, Honeywell International Inc. ( HON ) guided to first-quarter earnings of 80 cents per share on revenue of $8.7 billion. Analysts are currently expecting earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $8.52 billion. For fiscal 2011, Honeywell affirmed its prior guidance for earnings of $3.60 to $3.80 per share on revenue of $35 billion to $36 billion. Wall Street currently has its sights set on a profit of $3.83 per share on revenue of $35.84 billion.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, H&R Block ( HRB ), American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO ), Hercules Offshore (HERO), and Molycorp (MCP) are slated to release their quarterly earnings reports. Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

Today, the economic calendar brings us word on wholesale inventories for January, the latest MBA mortgage applications survey, and the regularly scheduled update on domestic petroleum supplies from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The weekly report on jobless claims hits the Street on Thursday, along with import/export data for January. We wrap up the week on Friday with the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for March, along with comments from New York Fed President William Dudley.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,233,932 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 684,205 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.55, while the 21-day moving average slipped to 0.57.

Volatility indices

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Trading the News: A Contrarian View. Check out this special report from Bernie Schaeffer here.

Overseas Trading

Overseas trading looks strong this morning, as nine of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of 0.29%. In Asian trading, earthquakes off Japan's northern coast prompted shaky trading early in the session, but upbeat January machinery orders put investors in a buying mood. The rest of the region also headed higher, keying off falling oil prices. Across the pond in Europe, regional markets are mixed, with energy-related stocks and banks creating drag. Traders were also focusing on Portugal's 1 billion-euro bond auction, and news that Germany's industrial production rose 1.8% in January.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

Oil futures remain weak this morning, even as the U.S. dollar reverses yesterday's gains. At last check, the April crude contract was off 13 cents at $104.89 per barrel in electronic trading. As for the greenback, the U.S. Dollar Index's two-day rally ran into a wall in the $77 region, with the index once again meeting resistance at its declining 10-day moving average. In premarket trading, the U.S. Dollar Index is off 0.27% at 76.60. Finally, the dollar's weakness has provided lift for gold prices, with the lead gold futures contract up $5.10 at $1,432.30 an ounce in London.

Currencies and commodities

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations .

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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 here for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the opening bell.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AEO , HON , HRB , NAV , TXN

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