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S&P 500 Index Looks to Snap Its Two-Day Losing Streak
By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
After opening above the 1,375 mark in yesterday's session, the
S&P 500 Index (
eventually settled south of breakeven, notching its second day of
losses. However, traders will be eyeing this key supportive level,
with futures on the broad-market index pointed north ahead of the
bell. A few other indicators to keep on today's radar include:
- April expiration week , with Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White providing a historical clue on where the SPX may head today.
- the VIX . The "fear gauge" remained completely unscathed yesterday, even after a rally by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).
- Apple (APPL ) . Will the tech titan continue to sell off for a sixth straight day?
And now, on to the numbers...
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 1,039,464 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 731,601 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.70, while the 21-day moving average was 0.64.
Currencies and Commodities
- The U.S. dollar index is trading near breakeven this morning, with the greenback last seen hovering around $79.54.
- Meanwhile, crude oil is continuing yesterday's bout of positive price action , with May-dated crude up 0.7% at $104.08 per barrel.
- Gold futures are higher, as well, with the malleable metal up 0.3% at $1,654.80.
In earnings news, U.S. Bancorp (USB - 31.16) said its first-quarter profit rose 28% on a year-over-year basis to $1.34 billion, or 67 cents per share. Revenue, meanwhile, improved 9.1% to $4.93 billion. The results beat analysts' expectations for a per-share profit of 64 cents on $4.78 billion in sales. Options players were a bit wary of USB ahead of earnings, with the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.98 ranking in the 89th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual toward the security. USB is up 1.8% in pre-market trading.
Goldman Sachs (GS - 117.73) said its first-quarter profit declined 23% to $2.11 billion, or $3.92 per share, due to "relatively low" demand for investment banking services. Net revenue for the quarter was down 16% to $9.95 billion. Both figures surpassed consensus estimates, which called for a profit of $3.55 per share on $9.48 billion in revenue. Short sellers may have been a bit premature in reducing their bearish exposure by 19.6% in the past two reporting periods, with the stock down nearly 2% ahead of the bell. Short interest now accounts for a minute 1.2% of the stock's available float.
The Coca-Cola Company (KO - 72.44) reported a first-quarter profit of $2.05 billion, or 89 cents per share, an 8% improvement from last year's results. Revenue was also on the rise, increasing 6% to $11.14 billion. Wall Street forecast earnings of 87 cents per share on $10.82 billion in sales. In the 20 sessions prior to today's announcement, traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) had bought to open 1.44 calls for every put. KO is on pace to start the session with a 0.8% lead.
Earnings and Economic Data
Today's data features housing starts and building permits , as well as industrial production and capacity utilization. The earnings arena will see action from IBM ( IBM ), Intel ( INTC ), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ), Yahoo (YAHOO), Cree (CREE), State Street (STT), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Linear Technology (LLTC), and McMoRan Exploration (MMR). Keep your browser at SchaeffersResearch.com for more news as it breaks.
European stocks have muscled higher at midday, even as Spanish bond yields remain inflated. Traders are cheering a surprise uptick in Germany's ZEW investor sentiment index, which logged its fifth consecutive monthly increase in April. At last check, the French CAC 40 has gained 1.3%, the German DAX has advanced 1%, and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.8%.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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