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Opening View: DJIA Poised to Open Muted Session Higher; RMBS, BRCM in the Spotlight

An executive change-up has the shares of EK ready to rally

by 12/23/2011 8:15:15 AM
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U.S. stocks are poised to extend their upward momentum today, as a relatively quiet Wall Street awaits the next round of economic data. In the wake of yesterday's batch of encouraging economic and sentiment reports, traders appear optimistic ahead of data on personal income, spending, durable goods, and housing, with the bulls looking to start the long holiday weekend on a high note. Meanwhile, a deal between Rambus (RMBS) and Broadcom (BRCM) could help the tech sector continue yesterday's ascent, while crude oil's quest to reclaim the century mark has energy stocks pointed higher. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are set to open a lightly traded session in the black.

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures

In equities news, Rambus (RMBS - 7.32) said it reached a five-year patent licensing agreement with Broadcom (BRCM - 29.77), settling all outstanding claims between the two. Terms of the latest deal, however, weren't disclosed. Ahead of the bell, RMBS is set to soar 16.3%, while BRCM is headed 0.8% higher.

Eastman Kodak (EK - 0.63) is set to open with a 19% lead, after the firm tapped General Counsel Laura Quatela to serve as co-president with Philip Faraci. "Laura's election reflects her increasing role in the company, including the strategic importance of the intellectual property business," said Chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez. Quatela will take office Jan. 1.

On the earnings front, Christopher & Banks (CBK - 2.35) last night said its fiscal third-quarter loss widened to $28.2 million, or 79 cents per share, from its year-ago loss of $9.2 million, or 26 cents per share. The results included a one-time charge of 34 cents per share, related to the retailer's planned store closings and consolidations. Revenue, on the other hand, edged 2.4% higher to $123.9 million, while same-store sales remained flat. The results surprised few on the Street, as the company last week forecast a quarterly loss and suspended its dividend. In pre-market trading, CBK is down 2.6%.

Earnings Preview

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Economic Calendar

We head into the long holiday weekend with data on durable goods, personal income and spending, and new home sales for November.

Market Statistics

Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 747,598 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 507,293 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio arrived at 0.68, while the 21-day moving average was 0.71.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

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