The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) edged lower on Thursday,
as weekly initial jobless claims and lackluster retail sales
provided little in the way of support. Wall Street has been
unwilling to take much of a stand on either side of the bull/bear
coin this week, as traders have remained cautious ahead of this
morning's report on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate.
Economists are looking for a decline of 60,000 jobs in July, with
the unemployment rate rising to 9.6%. Heading into the report,
futures on the DJIA and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading 19
points and 3 points above fair value, respectively, indicating some
hope that the data will come in better than expected. For most of
the week, the DJIA has remain trapped between support at 10,600 and
resistance at 10,700, while the SPX has traded between 1,115 and
1,130. Look for these levels to be challenged today as Wall Street
finally stretches its legs after nearly a week of waiting.
In equity news, Fannie Mae (FNM) reported a second-quarter net
loss of $1.2 billion late Thursday, down from a net loss of $11.5
billion in the first quarter of 2010 and a net loss of $14.8
billion in the same period a year earlier. The quarterly net loss
attributable to common stockholders was $3.1 billion, or 55 cents
Elsewhere, Kraft Foods (
) reported a second-quarter profit of 60 cents per share, excluding
items, besting the Street's forecast for earnings of 52 cents per
share. Sales rose 25% to $12.3 billion. Kraft also kept its 2010
adjusted profit forecast of at least $2 per share.
Finally, Activision Blizzard Inc. (
) announced a second-quarter profit of $219 million, or 17 cents
per share, on total revenue of $967 million. Excluding special
items and sales, Activision earned $72 million, or 6 cents per
share, on revenue of $683 million. By that measure, analysts had
forecast Activision to earn 5 cents per share on $719.8 million in
On the earnings front, China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (
) and Dynegy Inc. (
) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings report today.
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The report Wall Street has been waiting for arrives today, as
the Labor Department will release the month's highly anticipated
nonfarm payrolls and unemployment reports.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 983,113 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
593,738 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.60, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.60.
**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
Every morning, our research staff analyzes the prior day and
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Overseas trading is mostly positive this morning, as seven of
the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The
cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of
0.41%. Trading in Asia finished mixed, as investors were cautious
on the economic outlook ahead of the closely watched U.S. nonfarm
payrolls data, but Chinese markets still finished higher. European
shares bounced back in early trading on Friday, as strong corporate
earnings provided support. Overseas market information comes to you
Schaeffer's Daily Bulletin
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. Dollar Index is hovering close to breakeven ahead of
this morning's nonfarm payrolls report. At last check, the index
was up 0.11% at 80.91. Elsewhere, crude futures are pulling back
this morning, as traders remain skittish ahead of today's jobs
data. In electronic trading, the front-month crude contract is down
27 cents at $81.74 per barrel. Finally, the front-month gold
contract continues to meet with resistance near $1,200 an ounce. In
London, gold futures are down $3.10 at $1,196.20 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
Due to technical issues, the unusual put and call
activity charts are unavailable this morning.
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