After opening above the 1,375 mark in yesterday's session, the
S&P 500 Index (
eventually settled south of breakeven, notching its second day of
losses. However, traders will be eyeing this key supportive level,
with futures on the broad-market index pointed north ahead of the
bell. A few other indicators to keep on today's radar include:
April expiration week
, with Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White providing
a historical clue
on where the SPX may head today.
. The "fear gauge" remained completely unscathed yesterday, even
by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).
Apple (APPL )
. Will the tech titan continue to
for a sixth straight day?
Among equities in focus, options players were accumulating puts on
U.S. Bancorp (USB )
ahead of earnings, while short sellers may be disappointed with
Goldman Sachs' (GS )
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,039,464 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to
731,601 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.70, while the 21-day moving average was 0.64.
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is trading near breakeven this morning, with the greenback last
seen hovering around $79.54.
is continuing yesterday's bout of
positive price action
, with May-dated crude up 0.7% at $104.08 per barrel.
are higher, as well, with the malleable metal up 0.3% at
In earnings news,
U.S. Bancorp (USB - 31.16)
said its first-quarter profit rose 28% on a year-over-year basis to
$1.34 billion, or 67 cents per share. Revenue, meanwhile, improved
9.1% to $4.93 billion. The results beat analysts' expectations for
a per-share profit of 64 cents on $4.78 billion in sales. Options
players were a bit wary of USB ahead of earnings, with the stock's
Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.98 ranking in
the 89th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term
speculators are more put-heavy than usual toward the security. USB
is up 1.8% in pre-market trading.
Goldman Sachs (GS - 117.73)
said its first-quarter profit declined 23% to $2.11 billion, or
$3.92 per share, due to "relatively low" demand for investment
banking services. Net revenue for the quarter was down 16% to $9.95
billion. Both figures surpassed consensus estimates, which called
for a profit of $3.55 per share on $9.48 billion in revenue. Short
sellers may have been a bit premature in reducing their bearish
exposure by 19.6% in the past two reporting periods, with the stock
down nearly 2% ahead of the bell. Short interest now accounts for a
minute 1.2% of the stock's available float.
The Coca-Cola Company (KO - 72.44)
reported a first-quarter profit of $2.05 billion, or 89 cents per
share, an 8% improvement from last year's results. Revenue was also
on the rise, increasing 6% to $11.14 billion. Wall Street forecast
earnings of 87 cents per share on $10.82 billion in sales. In the
20 sessions prior to today's announcement, traders on the
International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options
), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) had bought to open 1.44 calls for
every put. KO is on pace to start the session with a 0.8% lead.
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's data features
housing starts and building permits
, as well as industrial production and capacity utilization. The
earnings arena will see action from IBM (
), Intel (
), Johnson & Johnson (
), Yahoo (YAHOO), Cree (CREE), State Street (STT), Intuitive
Surgical (ISRG), Linear Technology (LLTC), and McMoRan Exploration
(MMR). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
European stocks have muscled higher at midday, even as Spanish
bond yields remain inflated. Traders are cheering a surprise uptick
in Germany's ZEW investor sentiment index, which logged its fifth
consecutive monthly increase in April. At last check, the French
CAC 40 has gained 1.3%, the German DAX has advanced 1%, and
London's FTSE 100 is up 0.8%.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our
Open Interest Configurations
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