U.S. stocks are poised to open an abbreviated session in the red
today, with volume expected to be thin during the post-Thanksgiving
shopping extravaganza. Along with retailers -- many of which opened
their doors extra early to ensure a piece of the Black Friday pie
-- and AT&T (
), Europe remains the focus on Wall Street, thanks to concerns
about euro-zone bonds and couple of notable debt downgrades. At
last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is lingering
about 60 points south of fair value, while the S&P 500 Index
(SPX) is set to
extend its losing streak
to seven consecutive sessions.
In equities news, AT&T (T - 27.55) warned that it's facing
an uphill battle regarding its planned $39-billion purchase of
T-Mobile USA, after Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Chairman Julius Genachowski called for a trial-like hearing on the
merger. As such, T said it will set aside $4 billion in the fourth
quarter, in order to cover the potential cost of a failed deal.
Furthermore, T attempted to pull its merger application, though the
FCC said it would need the agency's approval to do so. At last
look, T is set to open 0.4% lower.
There are no earnings of note slated for today. Keep your
for more news as it breaks.
The post-holiday economic calendar is bare today, when U.S.
markets will shut down at 1 p.m. EST.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 867,335 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to
620,200 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.72, while the 21-day moving average was 0.72.
Stocks in Asia ended lower today, as traders eyed the ongoing
debt crisis in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated
her opposition to the issuance of joint euro-zone bonds, and debt
downgrades for Portugal and Hungary also weighed on investor
sentiment. Exporters and financial stocks were pockets of weakness,
with HSBC leading the decliners in Hong Kong. By the close, the
Hang Seng fell 1.4%, South Korea's Kospi lost 1%, China's Shanghai
Composite gave up 0.7%, and Japan's Nikkei pulled back 0.06%.
The bears are also in control over in Europe, where Italian bond
yields have jumped north of 6.5% -- their highest point since the
euro's inception. Traders seem disappointed following a Thursday
meeting between key euro-zone leaders, which failed to produce any
clear signs of progress on the region's debt crisis. At midday, the
German DAX and London's FTSE 100 have each shed 0.6%, and the
French CAC 40 has given up 0.3%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback has extended Wednesday's climb, with the U.S.
dollar up 0.5%. Likewise, crude futures have continued their
retreat, with the front-month contract last seen 0.7% lower to
hover near $95.46 per barrel. In the same vein, gold futures have
resumed their downward spiral, with the precious metal down 1% to
linger near $1,681.80 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our
Open Interest Configurations
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
for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the