U.S. stock futures are pointed broadly lower this morning as Wall Street continues to be pulled lower by geopolitical tensions amid a growing flood of earnings reports. You can throw the French elections into the mix with Russia and North Korea, with many analysts fearing the outcome in France could dictate the future of the E.U. Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) head up today’s earnings reports.
Against this cluttered backdrop, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average have dropped 0.13%, with S&P 500 futures down 0.29% and Nasdaq-100 futures off 0.24%.
On the options front, volume was anemic on Monday following a rush for portfolio protection last Thursday. Only about 11.8 million calls and 10.7 million puts changed hands yesterday. After smacking a cautious ten-month high of 0.96 ahead of the holiday weekend, the Chicago Board Options Exchange single-session equity put/call volume ratio plummeted back to earth on Monday, arriving at 0.63 for the session. The 10-day moving average, however, held at its two-month high of 0.69.
Driving Monday’s options volume, Bank of America saw heavy call volume ahead of this morning’s quarterly earnings report, and the immediate pre-market reaction to BAC’s numbers looks encouraging. Elsewhere, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) saw mixed activity following its trip to the earnings confessional and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) continues to battle for the right to acquire Moneygram International Inc (NYSE:MGI).
Bank of America Corp (BAC)
BAC stock is slumping this morning despite the fact the banking giant said it earned 41 cents per share versus expectations for a profit of 35 cents per share. Revenue came in at $22.45 billion, also topping expectations for $21.61 billion. That said, loan revenue is showing signs of weakness amid rising interest rates, while investment revenue is on the rise for the same reason.
Options traders were extremely bullish heading into the event, with calls making up 73% of the more than 1.38 million contracts traded on BAC stock. Shares rose above $23 at the open, north of peak put and call open interest at the April $23 strike, before dipping. Even if it recovered, BAC would need to put some distance between it and the $23 strike in order to keep from getting pinned at the strike come Friday’s expiration.
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)
Netflix wowed investors yesterday by posting a 516% year-over-year surge in earnings to 40 cents per share, beating Wall Street’s expectations of 37 cents. However, the rest of the numbers weren’t so encouraging. Revenue rose 34.7% year-over-year to $2.64 billion, but missed analyst expectations for $2.65 billion, and both domestic and international subscriber numbers came up short.