Technically, the Dow enters today trading above support in the
12,000-12,050 region, though resistance remains firm in the
12,200-12,250 area. What's more, the DJIA's 10-day and 20-day
moving averages are on the verge of a bearish cross near 12,185.
The SPX is facing a similar convergence of trendlines at the 1,320
level, adding to the potential for technical resistance in the
area. Support for the broad-market index, meanwhile, should hold
firm in the 1,300-1,305 region.
In earnings news, Big Lots Inc. (
) said that its fourth-quarter net income rose to $110.1 million,
or $1.46 per share, from $105.4 million, or $1.27 per share, a year
ago. Sales climbed to $1.52 billion from $1.46 billion last year.
Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.38 per share on sales of
$1.51 billion. Big Lots reported that same-store sales for the
period were flat.
On the merger and acquisition front, Family Dollar Stores Inc. (
) said that its board has rejected Trian Group's bid of roughly
$7.6 billion, noting that the offer "significantly undervalues" the
company. The company's board also said in a press release that a
sale is currently not in the best interests of shareholders. Family
Dollar added that it has adopted a shareholder-rights plan.
After the close last night, Collective Brands (
) suffered a fourth-quarter loss attributable to the company of
$10.1 million, or 16 cents per share. Revenue increased 4.3% to
$773.8 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 18 cents per share
on revenue of $764.4 million.
Finally, Foot Locker Inc. (
) banked a fourth-quarter profit of $57 million, or 36 cents per
share. Excluding charges, the company would have earned 39 cents
per share. Revenue edged up to $1.39 billion from $1.33 billion.
Analysts had projected the company to earn 36 cents per share on
revenue of $1.37 billion.
On the earnings front, H.J. Heinz (HNZ), Marvell Technology
(MRVL), Novell (NOVL), and Silver Wheaton (SLW) are slated to
release their quarterly earnings reports. Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
Today's key economic reports include weekly jobless claims and
the Institute of Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index for
February. We round out the week with a bang tomorrow, with all eyes
on the Labor Department's February nonfarm payrolls report and the
unemployment rate. Later in the session, January's factory orders
will hit the Street.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,132,461 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared
to 611,975 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call
ratio arrived at 0.54, while the 21-day moving average held at
Trading the News: A Contrarian View.
Check out this special report from Bernie Schaeffer
Overseas trading has come on 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
0.86%. In Asia, an upbeat outlook from Chinese banks provided lift
for Hong Kong shares, while South Korean stocks rebounded amid a
wave of bargain hunting and better-than-expected manufacturing
data. Across the pond in Europe, traders have bid stocks higher in
the wake of a retreat in oil prices, while a round of solid
corporate earnings also helped to boost investor sentiment.
Additionally, Eurostat reported that January retail sales for the
region rose 0.4%, while its latest estimate on fourth-quarter gross
domestic product remained unchanged at a gain of 0.3% from the
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar gained ground against most of its foreign rivals
in Asian trading, but the greenback has pulled back to breakeven
heading into the open on Wall Street. In fact, the U.S. Dollar
Index was last seen flat at 76.67 in premarket trading. Meanwhile,
commodities are also faltering this morning. Crude futures have
fallen 57 cents to $101.66 per barrel, as oil prices retreat from
their highest perch since September 2008. What's more, gold futures
are also falling this morning, with the lead contract off $9.40 at
$1,428.30 an ounce in London. On Wednesday, gold prices tagged yet
another all-time high, settling at $1,437.70 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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