Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
is looking at a triple-digit drop right out of the gate, as
economic concerns from around the globe have stoked a bearish mood
on Wall Street. With futures on all three major market indexes
wallowing in the red ahead of the bell, traders may want to keep
their eyes trained on a number of key technical levels that could
be tested throughout the day's session.
- The DJIA is on pace to lose its newfound footing atop the
S&P 500 Index's (
60-day moving average, with the broad-market index on pace to
test this supportive trendline.
- After shaving off 10.8% last week, will the
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
regain control north of 18?
Among equities in focus, short sellers increased their bearish
Hasbro, Inc. (HAS )
ahead of earnings, short-term puts have been the options
SunTrust Banks, Inc.
(STI - 22.60), and
Kellogg (K )
is set to drop following its first-quarter results.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,725,784 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
1,107,349 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call
ratio arrived at 0.64, while the 21-day moving average was
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is up 0.5% this morning to trade at $79.52.
, with the front-month contract 0.8% lower at $103.03 per
are down 0.7% at $1,631.90 an ounce.
In earnings news,
(HAS - 35.92) swung to a first-quarter loss of $2.58 million, or 2
cents per share. Excluding items, earnings arrived at 4 cents per
share, while revenue backpedaled 3.4% to $648.9 billion. The
results fell short of analysts' expectations for a per-share profit
of 8 cents on $667 million in sales. Short sellers increased their
bearish exposure by 11.8% during the latest reporting period, and
short interest now accounts for 7.4% of the stock's available
float. HAS is down 3.4% in pre-market trading.
SunTrust Banks, Inc.
(STI - 22.60) said its first-quarter profit rose 39% to $250
million, or 46 cents per share. Revenue, meanwhile, improved 5% to
land at $2.2 billion. Wall Street was anticipating earnings of 33
cents per share on revenue of $2.1 billion. Options players have
preferred near-term puts on STI, with the stock's Schaeffer's
put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.54 sitting in the 90th
percentile of its annual range. STI is up 0.2% ahead of the
Kellogg (K - 53.99)
reported a first-quarter profit of $1.00 per share, while net sales
dipped by 1.3%. Due to the weaker-than-expected quarterly
performance, the company also slashed its full-year earnings
outlook to a range between $3.18 and $3.30 per share. The guidance
fell short of Wall Street's forecast of $3.48 per share. Analysts
remain skeptical of K, with 82% maintaining a "hold" or "sell"
suggestion toward the stock. K is looking at a 5.8% drop right out
of the gate.
Earnings and Economic Data
There are no major economic reports scheduled today, although
, Texas Instruments (
, D.R. Horton (DHI), Zions Bancorporation (ZION), and
Brinker International (EAT)
are all due to take their turns in the earnings confessional.
European stocks have turned south at midday, as political
uncertainty in France has sparked a ripple of anxiety. Meanwhile,
Markit's preliminary composite euro-zone PMI for April unexpectedly
tumbled to a 34-month low of 46.0, pointing to ongoing contraction
in regional manufacturing activity. At last check, the German DAX
dropped 2.7%, the French CAC 40 fell 2.3%, and London's FTSE 100
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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