U.S. stocks are on track to end the week on a positive note,
with futures on all three major market indexes pointed north of
breakeven. Following a batch of promising
data released in the previous days, Wall Street is waiting with
bated breath for the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report for
January, slated for release at 8:30 a.m, although economists are
expecting unemployment to remain unchanged. This morning's economic
action will also include the Institute for Supply Management's
non-manufacturing report for the month prior, set to be unveiled at
10:00 a.m. Amid this deluge of data, the Dow Jones Industrial
Average (DJIA) is set to open 34 points higher, while the broader
S&P 500 Index (SPX) is looking at a 3-point jump.
In earnings news, Wynn Resorts (WYNN - 120.78) reported its
fourth-quarter results after last night's close. Thanks to a
$31.2-million tax benefit, WYNN's profit jumped 67% to $190.5
million, or $1.52 per share, from last year's profit of $114.2
million, or 91 cents per share. Excluding items, earnings arrived
at $1.55 per share. Revenue enjoyed an 8.6% bump to $1.34 billion.
The global casino concern's bottom-line results bested analysts'
expectations for earnings of $1.29 per share, but fell just shy of
the $1.36 billion in sales forecast by Wall Street. WYNN is down
nearly 3% in pre-market trading.
Elsewhere, Acme Packet (APKT - 30.89) banked a fourth-quarter
profit of $8.7 million, or 12 cents per share, down from $14.5
million, or 25 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding
items, earnings came in at 26 cents per share, remaining flat with
the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue rose 18.2% to $83 million.
The results disappointed analysts, who were expecting a profit of
28 cents per share on sales of $85.2 million. Looking ahead, the
company is predicting an adjusted fiscal-year profit of 96 cents to
$1.00 per share, more cautious than Wall Street's forecast for
earnings of $1.23 per share. APKT is looking at a 14% drop right
out of the gate.
Finally, Weyerhaeuser Company (WY - 20.14) reported a
fourth-quarter profit of $65 million, or 12 cents per share, a 62%
year-over-year drop from $171 million, or 32 cents per share.
Excluding items, profit arrived at 14 cents per share. Revenue also
suffered, falling 2.9% to $1.62 billion. The timber titan's results
came in better than expected, however, with analysts calling for
adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share on $1.59 billion in sales.
WY is up 3% ahead of the bell.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from Clorox (
), Tyson Foods (
), American Axle (
), Estee Lauder (
), and Simon Property Group (
). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The Labor Department's marquee report on nonfarm payrolls will
dominate headlines today, and traders will also digest the latest
data on factory orders and the ISM's services index.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,226,444 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
767,293 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.63, while the 21-day moving average was 0.61.
Asian markets ended mixed today, as the mood turned cautious
ahead of this morning's U.S. employment data. Sony bucked the
downtrend in Japan, with the tech giant enjoying a healthy
post-earnings jump -- despite confessing to a $2.1-billion loss in
the recently concluded quarter. Elsewhere, property stocks and
financials helped lead Shanghai stocks to a positive finish, while
mining issues rallied on the heels of gold's freshly tagged 11-week
high. By the close, South Korea's Kospi slid 0.6%, Japan's Nikkei
shed 0.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng crept 0.08% higher, and China's
Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%.
Meanwhile, European equities are on the upswing at midday.
Traders are cheering a positive reading on factory activity, as the
composite euro-zone purchasing managers index (PMI) jumped to 50.4
in January from December's reading of 48.3. The current PMI points
to expansion in regional manufacturing activity, as opposed to
contraction. However, the gains have been relatively modest, as
Greece has yet to confirm a debt restructuring deal with its
private creditors. At last look, the German DAX is up 0.1%, the
French CAC 40 has climbed 0.2%, and London's FTSE 100 is 0.4%
Currencies and Commodities
The U.S. dollar index is headed south this morning, with the
greenback down 0.1% at $78.95. Crude oil, meanwhile, is hoping to
pare some of the losses incurred on its
six-session stay in the red
, with the front-month contract up 0.1% to trade at $96.47 per
barrel. Finally, gold futures are trading fractionally higher ahead
of the bell, with the malleable metal last seen at $1,760.00 an
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
Due to technical issues, the Unusual Put and Call Activity
charts are unavailable today. We apologize for any
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