Opening View: DJIA Takes Aim at 10,700, But Jobs Data Is Looming

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) edged higher on Wednesday, as traders digested the latest employment data from ADP, but the blue-chip barometer was unable to topple growing resistance in the 10,700 region. The Dow appears poised to make another run at this round-number resistance today, as futures are pointing toward an opening gain of about 12.5 points. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile, continues to trade above support in the 1,115 region, which is home to its 200-day moving average, while short-term resistance continues to cap the broad-market index in the 1,130 region. These technical hurdles may be difficult to overcome until Friday, as sentiment could be greatly impacted by today's report on weekly initial jobless claims. Furthermore, many market bulls may still be unwilling to take a solid position ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report and the unemployment rate. On a final note, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) is still trading below its 200-day moving average, but the VIX refuses to stray far from this long-term trendline. If all goes well, we could see the "fear" index decline in the wake of this week's jobs data.

In earnings news, Cardinal Health Inc. ( CAH ) posted adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 50 cents per share in the latest quarter, as revenue rose to $24.46 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 49 cents per share on revenue of $24.64 billion. The company also raised its adjusted fiscal 2011 profit forecast to a range of $2.38 to $2.48 per share from its prior range of $2.35 to $2.45 per share. Wall Street is currently looking for $2.45 per share for the year.

Elsewhere, Cigna Corp. ( CI ) said that its second-quarter net profit fell to $294 million, or $1.06 per share, despite revenue rising to $5.35 billion. The company now estimates full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $4.10 to $4.40 per share.

Finally, same-store sales are beginning to roll in from several retailers. Along those lines, Big Lots Inc. ( BIG ) said that its same-store sales rose 3.8% in the second quarter, falling just shy of the company's forecast for a 4% to 5% rise. Also, Costco Wholesale Corp. ( COST ) said that its same-store sales rose 6% for the second-quarter, topping the Wall Street estimate for a rise of 5.5%.

Earnings Preview

On the earnings front, Beazer Homes USA Inc. ( BZH ), Diana Shipping Inc. ( DSX ), DIRECTV ( DTV ), Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. ( FSYS ), Hyatt Hotels Corp. ( H ), Liz Claiborne Inc. ( LIZ ), Playboy Enterprises Inc. ( PLA ), Time Warner Cable Inc. ( TWC ), Activision Blizzard Inc. ( ATVI ) and Kraft Foods Inc. ( KFT ) are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings report today. Keep your browser at for more news as it breaks.

Economic Calendar

The weekly report on initial jobless claims will be released on Thursday. On Friday, the Labor Department will release the month's highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls and unemployment reports.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) saw 1,146,541 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 648,519 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.57, while the 21-day moving average slipped to 0.59.

**The volume data shown above is from the Nasdaq and NYSE exchanges only. It does not include regional volume activity, which means that other daily volume quotes you see may be higher.**

Every morning, our research staff analyzes the prior day and the overnight markets, and monitors the morning wires to give you an accurate preview of the day to come. If you enjoyed today's edition of Opening View, sign up here for free daily delivery, straight to your inbox, before the opening bell.

Overseas Trading

Overseas trading has a positive bias this morning, as seven of the 10 foreign indexes that we track are in positive territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a gain of 0.46%. Trading in Asia finished mixed, as key indexes in Japan and Australia advanced, but Chinese markets fell after Beijing ordered new bank stress tests and tightened mortgage rules. At last check, European shares were headed higher after the Bank of England left its key interest rate alone. The European Central Bank's decision is slated for later this morning. Overseas market information comes to you courtesy of Schaeffer's Daily Bulletin .

Currencies and Commodities

The U.S. Dollar Index has resumed its trek lower this morning, though the index is still holding above support in the 80-80.50 region. Heading into the open, the index is off 0.30% at 80.65. Elsewhere, crude futures are pulling back this morning, as traders remain skittish ahead of today's report on weekly initial jobless claims. In electronic trading, the front-month crude contract is down 37 cents at $82.10 per barrel. Finally, the front-month gold contract continues to meet with resistance near $1,200 an ounce. In London, gold futures are up $2.40 at $1,198.30 an ounce.

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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