U.S. stock futures are are headed higher this morning, as Wall Street looks to close out its second best month of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is heading into today with a gain of 2.25% for July, with the S&P 500 Index up 2% and the Nasdaq Composite surging 3.9%.
While corporate earnings continue to roll in, especially with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stepping up tomorrow, economic data is front and center today. Specifically, China saw construction activity rise to its highest level since December 2013. Stateside, the July Chicago purchasing managers index and June’s pending home sales are both on tap.
Heading into the open, futures on the Dow have added 0.25%, Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.25% and S&P 500 futures had added 0.14%.
On the options front, volume remained brisk on Friday, though puts seemed to gain some momentum. Overall, about 16.1 million calls and 14.6 million puts changing hands to close out the week. Meanwhile, the CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose to 0.63, pushing the 10-day moving average higher to 0.62.
Diving into Friday’s options activity, calls and puts were evenly divided on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) after the company posted strong revenue growth, but saw earnings drop sharply due to heavy spending. Meanwhile, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) was also a target for put options after CFO Scott Maw painted a grim outlook for the coffee and tea giant. Finally, Chinese search engine Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) surged after reporting 143% earnings growth.
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
Amazon continued its long-standing tradition of spending more than Wall Street is comfortable with in the second quarter. The world’s largest online retailer said that sales rose 25% to $38 billion, but that earnings plunged 77% to just 40 cents per share. What’s more, Amazon also said that it could lose up to $400 million in operating profit during the current quarter. That particular data point even overshadowed a 42% jump in Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenue to $4.1 billion.
AMZN stock dropped roughly 2.5% on the news, and Amazon options traders were divided on the stocks direction. Total volume came in at 655,000 contracts, with calls and puts split nearly down the middle.
Looking out to August, we find that the put/call open interest ratio rests at 0.98, with puts and calls in near parity. Peak call OI for the month totals roughly 3,900 contracts at the $1,050 strike, which is now trading out of the money after Friday’s retreat.