Bulls have reemerged after two days of selling, with futures on
all three major market indexes pointed north of breakeven.
Investors will be keeping their eyes trained on the 13,000 mark for
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
, as well as the 1,375 level for the
S&P 500 Index (
, as we wrap up another week of whipsaw market activity. In
addition to these key technical levels, a few interesting
developments have popped up on the radar at Schaeffer's that could
demand a bit of attention, including:
- Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp's breakdown of how
has become lucrative, thanks to the choppy trading range of the
S&P 500 e-Mini Futures contract.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Financial Services Index Fund (
. Following a week chock-full of earnings releases from the
financial sector, IYG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio
(SOIR) jumped to 37.25, its highest reading of the year.
Russell 2000 Index (
, and how a possible weekly close below zero by the MACD
histogram is causing Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick
Among equities in focus, Microsoft (MSFT ) and Chipotle Mexican
Grill (CMG ) are set to jump after their quarterly results, while
General Electric's (GE ) sale of its share in NBC Universal weighed
on its bottom line.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,468,901 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to
971,043 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.66, while the 21-day moving average was 0.64.
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
has retreated this morning, with the greenback last seen 0.3%
lower at $79.31.
is pointed north, with the front-month contract 0.6% higher at
$103.33 per barrel.
are up 0.2% to trade at $1,645.20 an ounce.
In earnings news,
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD - 7.97)
swung to a first-quarter loss of $590 million, or 80 cents per
share, thanks to a
stemming from its GlobalFoundries spin-off. Excluding items, AMD
banked a per-share profit of 12 cents. Revenue, meanwhile, dropped
1.7% to $1.59 billion. The results beat analysts' expectations for
adjusted earnings of 9 cents per share on $1.56 billion in sales.
Traders showed a preference for near-term calls ahead of earnings,
with the stock's SOIR sitting at 0.38. AMD is up 0.6% in pre-market
Microsoft (MSFT - 31.01)
said its fiscal third-quarter profit slipped 2.4% to $5.11 billion,
or 60 cents per share, even as revenue improved 6% to $17.41
billion. Both figures bested Wall Street's estimates, which called
for a profit of 57 cents per share on $17.18 billion in revenue.
Analysts carry a positive outlook for the software concern, with
63% maintaining a "buy" or better recommendation toward the stock.
MSFT is on pace to start the session with a 3.5% lead.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - 430.78)
banked a first-quarter profit of $62.7 million, or $1.97 per share,
up 35% from the comparable quarter of 2011. Revenue rose by 26% to
$640.6 million, boosted by a 12.7% increase in same-store sales.
The results surpassed analysts' expectations for earnings of $1.93
per share on sales of $630.9 million. Short sellers increased their
bearish exposure on CMG by 2.4% over the last two reporting
periods, and short interest now accounts for a lofty 7.9% of the
stock's available float. CMG is 0.7% higher ahead of the bell.
Finally, following the sale of its stake in NBC Universal,
General Electric Company (GE - 19.14)
said its first-quarter profit slipped 12% to $3.03 billion, or 29
cents per share. Excluding items, earnings rose to 34 cents, while
revenue backpedaled 8.2% to $35.18 billion. The results were better
than expected, with analysts calling for an adjusted per-share
profit of 33 cents on $34.7 billion in sales. In the 20 sessions
prior to last night's announcement, traders on the International
Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (
), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) bought to open 4.05 calls for every
put on the stock. GE is on pace to tack on 1% right out of the
Earnings and Economic Data
There are no major economic reports scheduled for today, but
Wall Street will chew on earnings results from
, Under Armour (UA),
, Kimberly-Clark (KMB), and Schlumberger (SLB). Keep your browser
for more news as it breaks.
Stocks in Europe have elbowed their way modestly higher at
midday, with upbeat sentiment data out of Germany once again luring
buyers. After a positive reading earlier this week from the ZEW
investor sentiment index, the Ifo Institute reported that its
business confidence index arrived at a stronger-than-expected 109.9
in April. Meanwhile, banking giants BNP Paribas and Societe
Generale outperformed in Paris after upgrades from Bank of
America-Merrill Lynch. At last look, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.5%,
the French CAC 40 has advanced 0.6%, and Germany's DAX has tacked
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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Open Interest Configurations
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