Across the pond, European officials are scrambling to clean up
the mess created by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's,
unexpected decision to leave austerity measures to the will of his
constituents. Papandreou is headed to Cannes to attend an
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas
Sarkozy ahead of the previously scheduled G20 summit, in hopes of
hashing out details for yet another stabilization plan. Against
this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finds itself
trading 107 points north of fair value, while the broader S&P
500 Index (SPX) is set to open about 15 points higher.
In earnings news, Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET - 61.43) last
night reported a third-quarter profit of $1.5 million, or 11 cents
per share, a significant drop from last year's profit of $3.8
million, or 28 cents per share. PEET attributed the year-over-year
decline to a one-time, anticipated class action lawsuit settlement
of $2.2 million. Excluding items, net income was unchanged at 28
cents per share. Net revenue, on the other hand, increased 14% to
$91.2 million. The results came in better than expected, as
analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings of 27 cents
per share on revenue of $89.7 million. Looking ahead, PEET is
projecting fiscal 2011 earnings to fall between $1.27 and $1.34 per
share, with adjusted earnings ranging between $1.43 and $1.50 per
share. Analysts are looking for a full-year profit of $1.50 per
share. Shares of PEET are down over 3% in pre-market trading.
Meanwhile, Primerica (PRI - 21.74) reported a third-quarter
profit of $40.6 million, or 53 cents per share, up 3% from $39.6
million, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue
increased by 14% to $275.8 million. Meanwhile, net operating income
rose by 5% to $42.8 million, or 56 cents per share, compared to
$40.9 million, or 54 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2010.
Operating revenue also increased by 15% to $276.0 million.
Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 57 cents per share
on revenue of $271.1 million. PRI also announced a plan in which it
will buy back $200 million of its shares from Citigroup (
). PRI is trading nearly 4% lower ahead of the bell.
Finally, Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - 37.80) unveiled a
third-quarter profit of $32.5 million, or 69 cents per share.
Excluding items, JAZZ said it earned a profit of 94 cents per
share. Meanwhile, revenue increased 18% to $73.3 million. The
results were mixed, as analysts had predicted a profit of 94 cents
per share on $72 million in sales. The specialty drug company also
boosted its guidance for fiscal 2011. JAZZ is now targeting
adjusted full-year earnings of $3.45 to $3.50 per share on total
product sales of $261 million to $268 million.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from Kraft
), Mastercard (
), News Corp. (
), Qualcomm (
), AOL (AOL), Time Warner (TWX), Comcast (CMCSA), Clean Harbors
(CLH), Transocean (RIG), Dendreon (DNDN), Whole Foods Market (WFM),
Tesla Motors (TSLA), and Zipcar (ZIP). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The monthly onslaught of jobs data begins today, with ADP's
private-sector employment report and the Challenger, Gray &
Christmas update on monthly job cuts both due for release. Around
midday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will announce its
latest monetary policy decision, and a 2:15 p.m. press conference
will follow. As usual, Thursday's calendar features weekly jobless
claims. Also on the day's docket are the ISM services index,
third-quarter productivity and labor costs, and factory orders.
Bright and early Friday morning, all eyes will be on the Labor
Department's nonfarm payrolls report for October.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,068,073 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
959,797 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.90, while the 21-day moving average was 0.68.
Asian markets ended mixed today, with traders on edge amid
ongoing Greek debt uncertainty and ahead of today's policy decision
from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Brokerage firms backpedaled in
Japan, pressured by a weak earnings showing from Nomura Holdings.
On the other hand, Korean automakers ticked higher, thanks to
well-received sales reports from Hyundai and Kia. By the close,
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.9%, China's Shanghai Composite
climbed 1.4%, South Korea's Kospi declined 0.6%, and Japan's Nikkei
gave back 2.2%.
The major European benchmarks are wobbling around the breakeven
line at midday, after swallowing steep declines on Tuesday.
Investors seem to be waiting for the other shoe to drop on the
Greek front, as major euro-zone leaders are scheduled to meet today
in Cannes to discuss the implications of the surprise referendum.
At last check, the German DAX is up 0.9%, the French CAC 40 is 0.9%
higher, and London's FTSE 100 has shed 0.3%.
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