Opening View: U.S. Stock Futures Mixed; Google Poised to Lead Tech Sector


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) snapped a four-session winning streak yesterday, as a surprise rise in jobless claims and a growing foreclosure crisis weighed heavily on investors. Heading into the open this morning, futures on the DJIA and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading 5.6 points below and roughly 1 point above fair value. However, the tech sector is shining, with the Nasdaq-100 trading about 10.6 points above fair value in the wake of strong earnings reports from Google Inc. ( GOOG ) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. ( AMD ). As for technical levels, look for resistance at 11,150 and support at 11,000 for the DJIA, while the SPX remains between the 1,185 and 1,165 levels. By the time Opening View is published this morning, traders will also have had a chance to digest a morning speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on monetary policy.

In earnings news, General Electric Co. ( GE ) has slipped nearly 3% in premarket trading, after reporting that its third-quarter net earnings were $2.06 billion, or 18 cents per share. On a continuing operations basis, GE earned 29 cents per share. Revenue fell 5% to $35.89 billion. Analysts were expecting third-quarter earnings of 27 cents per share on sales of $37.43 billion.

Shares of Google Inc. ( GOOG ) have rallied nearly 9% in electronic trading this morning, as traders react to last night's quarterly earnings report. Specifically, Google announced that its third-quarter net income rose to $2.17 billion, or $6.72 per share, as net revenue rose to $5.5 billion. Excluding one-time items, Google said earnings were $7.64 per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of $6.69 per share on $5.3 billion in net revenue.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. ( AMD ) is trading about 4.5% higher ahead of the open, after the company reported a third-quarter loss of $118 million, or 17 cents per share, with revenue rising to $1.62 billion. On an adjusted basis, earnings came in at 15 cents per share. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $1.6 billion. For the current quarter, AMD said it expects revenue to be flat sequentially.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, Gannett Co. Inc. ( GCI ), Infosys Technologies Limited ( INFY ), and Mattel Inc. (MAT) will release their quarterly reports today. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The economic calendar will be busy once again today, with September's consumer price index, retail sales, the New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing index, and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for October.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the CBOE saw 1,951,991 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 1,142,387 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.59, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.58.

Volatility indices

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

**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 higher.**

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

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Overseas Trading

Overseas trading is mixed this morning, as only four of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of 0.04%. Most Asian markets finished lower on Thursday, though mainland China bucked the downtrend to extend its current winning streak to seven days in a row. Meanwhile, European stocks were cautiously higher, after Eurostat reported that consumer price inflation in the euro zone rose to 1.8% in September from 1.6% in August. The rate remains below the European Central Bank's target of 2%.

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. dollar has risen off yesterday's lows, but the greenback remains dogged by most of its foreign competitors. Heading into the weekend, the U.S. Dollar Index is hovering just above a fresh annual low near the 76 level. Commodities are not quite as enthusiastic about the dollar's decline today as they were on Thursday, however. Gold futures, for instance, are up a mere $1.10 at $1,378.70 an ounce. What's more, crude futures have actually declined 8 cents to $83.28 per barrel.

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 Nasdaq, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Options
Referenced Stocks: AMD , GCI , GE , GOOG , INFY

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