Opening View: VIX Soars to 45; DJIA Set to Dip Below 10K

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA ) plunged nearly 400 points on Thursday, bringing the blue-chip barometer perilously close to psychological support at the 10,000 level. Unfortunately there is no rest for the weary, as it appears that the DJIA may breach this round-number support level, with futures pointing toward a loss of about 51 points on the open. Meanwhile, S&P 500 Index ( SPX ) futures are indicating an opening loss of more than 7 points. Such a move would put the SPX dangerously close to its February lows near 1,160. Below this, the SPX has little in the way of technical support until 1,030, its November 2009 low. Finally, the CBOE Market Volatility Index ( VIX ) has soared more than 46% so far this week, as the fear index tagged yet another annual high on Thursday. The VIX is now trading north of the 45 level, a region it has not seen since March 2009.

In earnings news, Aeropostale Inc. ( ARO ) is off about 2% in pre-market activity after the company posted first-quarter net income of $45.4 million, or 48 cents per share. Total net sales rose to $463.6 million, while same-store sales rose 8%. Analysts were expecting a profit of 46 cents per share.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. ( BRCD ) reported a second-quarter profit of $62.7 million, or 13 cents per share, excluding items, as revenue came in at $501 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 12 cents per share on $503 million in sales. BRCD shares have plummeted nearly 9% in pre-market trading following the report.

Salesforce.com Inc. ( CRM ) shares have dropped about 4.5% in electronic trading after the company reported a first-quarter profit of $17.7 million, or 13 cents a share. Excluding items, the CRM earned 30 cents per share, in line with expectations. Revenue rose 24% to $376.8 million.

Finally, Dell Inc. ( DELL ) is down about 3% in pre-market trading, as investors react to news that the company eared $441 million, or 22 cents per share, in the first quarter. Revenue rose to $14.9 billion. Adjusted income was 30 cents per share, edging past Wall Street's expectations for earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $14.3 billion.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, AnnTaylor Stores Corp. ( ANN ) and Frontline Ltd. ( FRO ) are slated to release their quarterly earnings reports. Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

GDP

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 1,842,471 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 1,760,353 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.96, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.63.

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 headed for steep weekly losses, as only one of the 10 foreign indexes that we follow is in positive territory this Friday morning. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a loss of 1.10%. In Asia, stock markets suffered losses, as persistent worries over the euro zone debt crisis and its negative impact on the global economic recovery sent investors heading for the exits. Turning to Europe, stocks are lower, with heightened concerns over euro zone sovereign debt and government spending and tougher financial industry regulations hurting sentiment. Overseas market information comes to you courtesy of Schaeffer's Daily Bulletin .

Overseas markets

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. Dollar Index pulled back sharply yesterday, as the euro rebounded from multi-year lows. However, the dollar appears to be back on track this morning, with the index up 0.34% at 85.86. The same cannot be said about oil and gold, however. Crude futures are threatening to break below $70 per barrel this morning, with the July contract down 59 cents at $70.21 per barrel. Finally, gold futures are extending their recent losses, dropping $6.20 to $1,182.40 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 .

Due to technical issues, the "Unusual Put and Call Activity" charts are unavailable today. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options


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