Wall Street is in rally mode for a second straight day, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
on pace to solidify its spot above the 13,000 mark. As bullish
excitement abounds, a number of indicators could demand traders'
attention throughout today's session.
- As stocks edge higher, can the
continue to retreat from the
critical 20 mark
Apple (AAPL )
poised for a post-earnings pop, will the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
break its recent losing streak?
- See Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa's take on the day
in our new section,
From the Trading Floor
Among equities in focus,
Amgen (AMGN )
shorts closed out their bearish bets ahead of earnings, while
traders took diverging paths on Dow components
Boeing (BA )
Caterpillar (CAT )
before their quarterly results.
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (
) saw 1,228,132 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to
823,240 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.67, while the 21-day moving average was 0.64.
From the Trading Floor
According to Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, "Earnings
season has been in full gear for the regional bank sector, which
has been relatively stronger than the broader market over the past
couple of weeks." Tony goes on to say, "The big news to focus on
today will be the much anticipated Federal Open Market Committee
(FOMC) policy statement, set to be released at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
At 2:15 p.m. Eastern, Ben Bernanke will hold a press briefing for
further discussion. Possible hints at QE3 would probably excite the
Currencies and Commodities
U.S. dollar index
is hovering near breakeven to trade at $79.18.
is continuing its move higher, with crude for June delivery up
0.7% at $104.23 per barrel.
are taking a breather after
, with the malleable metal fractionally lower at $1,643.20 an
In earnings news,
Apple's (AAPL - 560.28)
fiscal second-quarter profit surged 94% to $11.62 billion, or
$12.30 per share, as revenue jumped 59% to $39.19 billion. The
results crushed analysts' expectations, which called for earnings
of $10.04 per share on $36.81 billion in revenue. While demand for
iPods continued to slip, sales of iPhones were up 88% during the
quarter, and iPad sales more than doubled year-over-year. No less
than 92% of analysts deem AAPL worthy of a "buy" or "strong buy"
recommendation. AAPL is set to open the session with a 9% pop.
Amgen (AMGN - 68.63)
said its first-quarter profit rose 5.2% to $1.18 billion, or $1.48
per share. Excluding items, earnings arrived at $1.61 per share,
while revenue climbed 9.2% to $4.05 billion. The results topped
analysts' expectations for a profit of $1.45 per share on sales of
$3.93 billion. Short interest depleted by 10.2% in the latest
reporting period. AMGN is up 1% in pre-market trading.
The Boeing Company (BA - 73.21)
reported a first-quarter profit of $923 million, or $1.22 per
share, representing a 58% year-over-year improvement. Revenue was
also on the rise, increasing 30% to $19.4 billion. The results
easily beat analysts' expectations for earnings of 94 cents per
share on revenue of $18.37 billion. Traders on the International
Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (
), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) bought to open 2.41 calls for every
put in the 10 sessions prior. BA is 2.6% higher ahead of the
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - 108.40)
said its first-quarter profit jumped 29% to $1.6 billion, or $2.37
per share, while revenue jumped 23% to $15.98 billion. The results
were mixed, with analysts calling for a per-share profit of $2.13
on $16.22 billion in sales. Traders were picking up CAT's near-term
puts ahead of earnings, with the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open
interest ratio (SOIR) docked at 1.34. CAT is looking at a 1.3% drop
right out of the gate.
Earnings and Economic Data
Durable goods data and the regularly scheduled crude inventories
report will hit the Street today. The
will announce its latest policy decision at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, to
be followed by a 2:15 p.m. press conference with
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
. Meanwhile, investors will get a chance to digest earnings results
Eli Lilly (
, Corning (
Sprint Nextel (
, Cirrus Logic (
), Citrix Systems (CTXS), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF),
, Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Lorillard (LO), Ryland Group (RYL),
, and Xilinx (XLNX).
Stocks in Asia wavered between modest gains and minor losses
today, with the tech sector catching a boost from Apple's
stronger-than-forecast earnings report. Conversely, a chilly
revenue forecast from Internet giant Baidu (BIDU) weighed on its
peers, with Tencent Holdings taking a hit in Hong Kong. Meanwhile,
high hopes for stimulus measures out of Beijing helped Chinese
property developers claw higher. By the close, Japan's Nikkei rose
1%, China's Shanghai Composite advanced 0.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng
declined 0.2%, and South Korea's Kospi edged 0.07% lower.
European markets are pointed north at midday, as traders have
mostly shrugged off weak gross domestic product (GDP) data out of
Britain. The U.K.'s GDP shrank by 0.2% during the first three
months of 2012 -- marking the second straight quarterly decline,
which suggests the economy has slipped into a recession. However,
the tech sector is basking in the halo effect of earnings beats
from Apple and Ericsson (ERIC), with cohorts like ARM Holdings
(ARMH) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) trending higher. At last check,
London's FTSE 100 has added 0.1%, the German DAX has gained 1.3%,
and the French CAC 40 is up 1.8%.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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