Wall Street is brushing off an overall global-wide sell-off, as
fear of euro-zone fiscal instability has taken hold of
international markets. However, a buying mood has crept into U.S.
markets, with futures on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
pointed modestly higher heading into today's session. The
S&P 500 Index (
is also set to tack on gains, with the broad-market barometer on
pace to regain its footing atop the critical
Among equities in focus,
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP )
is bracing for a post-earnings plunge; analysts' opinions may be
Deere & Company's (DE )
quarterly results; and, short sellers could pile back on
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF )
after its earnings results.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,130,635 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
911,576 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.81, while the 21-day moving average was 0.72.
From the Trading Floor
losing its footing
Sapp will also be keeping his eye on the "
-- coal and steel stocks got pummeled yesterday. The
CRB Commodity Index (CRB)
continues to make lows, as does oil. This is partially a function
of weakness in the euro/strength in the dollar, but it can also act
as a proxy for global economic strength. It's worrisome to see it
going straight down without really bouncing."
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
continues to edge higher, with the greenback last seen up 0.3%
- Ahead of weekly inventories,
is headed further south, with the front-month contract down
1.7% at $92.75 per barrel.
are also on pace to
set a new low for 2012
, with the malleable metal 1.5% lower at $1,534 an ounce.
In earnings news,
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP - 33.32)
swallowed a first-quarter loss of $163 million, or 75 cents per
share. Excluding items, JCP's per-share loss narrowed to 25 cents,
while revenue sunk 20% to $3.15 billion. Same-store sales for the
Texas-based retailer backpedaled 19%. The results arrived well
below analysts' expectations for a loss of 11 cents per share on
$3.41 billion in sales. In an effort to improve its bottom line,
JCP suspended its quarterly dividend, expected to garner the
company an additional $175 million in cash. Near-term calls were
popular on JCP ahead of earnings, with the stock's Schaeffer's
put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) docked at 0.79. JCP is down
15.4% ahead of the bell.
Deere & Company (DE - 76.62)
said its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 17% on a year-over-year
basis to $1.056 billion, or $2.61 per share, while revenue improved
12% to $10.01 billion. The results easily beat the Street's
forecast for a per-share profit of $2.53 on revenue of $9.71
billion. No fewer than 10 out of 17 analysts maintain a "hold" or
"sell" suggestion toward DE. The stock is 1.8% higher in pre-market
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF - 45.40)
confessed that its first-quarter profit plummeted 88% to $2.99
million, or 3 cents per share, from last year's earnings of $25.1
million, or 28 cents per share. Sales rose 10% to $921.2 million,
but same-store sales were down 5% for the quarter. Analysts were
looking for a profit of 2 cents per share on $952 million in sales.
Short interest backpedaled by 5.6% in the most recent reporting
period, and now accounts for 2.9% of the stock's available float.
ANF is poised for a 6.2% drop right out of the gate.
Earnings and Economic Data
, building permits, industrial production and capacity utilization,
and the regularly scheduled crude inventories report will hit the
Street today. Also, the
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
will release the minutes from its April meeting. Meanwhile,
investors will get a chance to mull over earnings results from
, Target (
, Hot Topic (HOTT),
Limited Brands (LTD)
, Chico's FAS (CHS), and
Cost Plus (CPWM)
Asian markets ended broadly lower today, as ongoing political
gridlock in Greece has forced a second round of elections. With no
clarity forthcoming from the euro zone, traders were further
rattled by news of a slowdown in loan growth by China's Big Four
banks. In the same gloomy vein, BHP Billiton Chairman Jacques
Nasser warned of "further easing" in commodity markets amid
slackening demand. By the close, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 3.2%,
South Korea's Kospi lost 3.1%, China's Shanghai Composite slipped
1.2%, and Japan's Nikkei shed 1.1%.
Lingering uncertainty over Greece is also weighing on European
markets, after reports indicated that new elections would be held
on June 17. However, French banks are a surprising pocket of
strength, with Credit Agricole leading the bullish charge after an
upgrade from Societe Generale. At last look, London's FTSE 100 is
off 0.1%, the German DAX is down 0.4%, and the French CAC 40 has
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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