The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose to a fresh two-year
high on Wednesday, even as light volume hinted that most of Wall
Street is already on Christmas vacation. We could see more of the
same today, though there are several economic reports, including
durable goods, new home sales, jobless claims, and consumer
sentiment, that could pull some traders briefly back to their
desks. Heading into the open, however, very little activity is
apparent, as futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index (SPX)
are trading flat with breakeven.
Technically, the DJIA may have a modicum of short-term support at
the freshly claimed 11,550 level, while the 11,500 area should
contain any modest pullback today. Resistance lies at the 11,600
level for the Dow. As for the SPX, support lies in the 1,250-1,255
area, while resistance looms above in the 1,260-1,265 region.
Finally, sentiment among options traders is near a bullish extreme
on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
), as the 21-day moving average of the single-session, equity-only
put/call ratio has tagged its lowest level since May 6.
In equity news, Bed Bath & Beyond (
) posted a third-quarter profit of $188.6 million, or 74 cents per
share, up from $151.3 million, or 58 cents per share, in the
year-ago period. Sales rose 11.1% to $2.19 billion. Analysts were
looking for earnings of 66 cents per share on revenue of $2.1
billion. Looking ahead, BBBY forecast full-year earnings of $2.86
to $2.90 per share, compared to Wall Street's view for a profit of
$2.82 per share. The company also said that its board authorized a
new $2 billion share repurchase program.
Also, Micron Technology Inc. (
) reported first-quarter earnings of $155 million, or 15 cents per
share, compared to earnings of $204 million, or 23 cents per share,
for the same period last year. Revenue grew 29% to $2.3 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 29 cents per share on revenue
of $2.38 billion.
There are no major earnings reports slated for release today.
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The Commerce Department will report on personal income and
spending, durable goods orders, and new home sales for November
today, while the University of Michigan will offer up its consumer
sentiment index for December. We'll also get the weekly look at new
jobless claims. The market will be closed tomorrow for the
Equity option activity on the CBOE saw 1,186,623 call contracts
traded on Wednesday, compared to 587,676 put contracts. The
resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.50 while the
21-day moving average slipped to 0.52.
**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
Overseas trading looks weak this morning, as only two of the 10
foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of
0.23%. In Asian trading, regional indexes finished mixed amid thin
holiday volume. with merger and acquisition activity pushing
Australian stocks to a six-week high. Japanese markets were closed
for a holiday. Trading was thin in Europe, as well, with the
banking sector keeping a close eye on Allied Irish Banks plc after
the stock plunged amid expectations for a major government cash
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar continued to hover above support in the 80-80.50
in overnight trading, despite the greenback slipping slightly
versus the euro and the yen. At last check, the U.S. Dollar Index
was off 0.17% at 80.59. Crude futures have extended their move into
two-year high territory, adding 11 cents to $90.59 per barrel.
Finally, gold futures have slipped $3.60 to trade at $1,383.80 an
ounce in London.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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