Last week's 17.1% spike in the CBOE Market Volatility Index
(VIX), as well as a substantial equities sell-off, has not scared
off optimistic investors, with U.S. stock futures pointed modestly
higher across the board. Wall Street has an abundance of economic
and earnings reports on this week's agenda; however, today's focus
will remain on:
. Despite pulling back from last week's highs, the "fear gauge"
is sitting dangerously close to the 20 mark
- the whirlwind of economic data on the slate, with
Empire State manufacturing index
kicking things off
, with yields on the fiscally strapped nation's 10-year bonds
Among equities in focus,
Disney (DIS )
takes its business overseas, while slipping sales of Barbie and Hot
Wheels weighed on
Mattel's (MAT )
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,111,331 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
823,016 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.74, while the 21-day moving average was 0.63.
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is trading 0.2% higher this morning, with the greenback last
seen at $80.07.
following in last week's footsteps
, with the front-month contract 0.3% lower at $103 per
are down 0.7% to trade at $1,648.10 an ounce.
In equities news,
The Walt Disney Company
(DIS - 41.85) penned a deal with China's
to co-produce DIS' next installment of its popular
series, according to
The Wall Street Journal
. The partnership comes amid bustling growth in China's movie
industry, which saw a 29% year-over-year rise in sales to $2.1
billion. DIS is up 0.7% in pre-market trading.
Mattel, Inc. (MAT - 34.13)
said its first-quarter earnings fell 53% to $7.8 million, or 2
cents per share, from last year's $16.6 million, or 5 cents per
share. The results included expenses relating to MAT's $680-million
acquisition of HIT Entertainment, equating to 4 cents per share.
Respective 6% and 5% drops in global gross sales for MAT's core
Barbie and Hot Wheels divisions caused overall revenue to backpedal
2.5% to $928.4 million. The results came in below Wall Street's
forecast for earnings of 7 cents per share on $989 million in
sales. MAT is looking at a 6.3% drop ahead of the bell.
Flotek (FTK - 12.17)
now expects first-quarter revenue to surpass $78 million, with
operating income arriving north of $16 million. Gross margin is
predicted to expand to 43%. In the year-ago quarter, FTK netted
$9.3 million on $52.9 million in revenue. "While a challenging
natural gas market has had an impact on certain products, Flotek's
proprietary chemistries continue to gain market share among liquids
producers," said Chairman and CEO John Chisholm in a statement. The
revenue forecast was comfortably above the consensus analyst
estimate, which called for $72.9 million. FTK is on pace to start
the session with a 2.2% lead.
Earnings and Economic Data
We're starting off the week with a flurry of economic reports,
, business inventories, the Empire State
, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
housing market index
. A busy week of earnings begins with quarterly results from
Charles Schwab (
, and Gannett (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
European equities are modestly higher at last look, even as
Spanish bond yields explore new peaks. Mining stocks have lured a
few buyers, after analysts at Citigroup and J.P. Morgan both cited
buying opportunities in the group. However, euro-zone banks are
struggling, as traders price in some uncertainty over a potential
round of downgrades from Moody's. At last check, London's FTSE 100
has added 0.5%, the German DAX has tacked on 0.4%, and the French
CAC 40 is up 0.6%.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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