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Pre-Market: Sony Starts Strong in Console War; Boeing to Sell New Jets

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Bitcoin is on a tear today ahead of a Senate hearing.

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Stocks were set to open higher this morning, signaling that US indices will likely extend six weeks of steady gains today.

After ending last week on record highs, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.24% at 15,951.00 while futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.12% to 1,795.70. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures were up 0.01% to 3,417.00.

On today's economic calendar, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index will be released at 10 a.m. Economists expect the indicator to stay steady at 55 this month, unchanged from October.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced that it sold 1 million PlayStation 4 units in the first 24 hours it was available in North America. This is the first new PlayStation release since 2006. The PS4 is $100 cheaper than Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One, which will go on sale on Friday. Microsoft's offering comes with the always-on motion sensing Kinect out of the box. Sony's US-traded shares were up 2.3% this morning after the global launch.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) officially unveiled the 777X at the Dubai Air Show. The company has already taken bookings from four airlines worth $95 billion. Shares of the aerospace company rose 2.4% this morning. The jets will probably not be built in the United States, however. The International Association of Machinists turned down a deal to build them in the Seattle area, but Boeing is considering the Persian Gulf, where many of its customers are, or Japan.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA) shares fell 1.7% after Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) cut its rating to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) shares fell in overnight trading as a result of the Midwestern tornados. At least five people died as the storm destroyed a stretch of Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri.

Asian shares were higher today as more details of China's Third Plenum session emerge. Though the pronouncements for the country's sweeping changes are often ambiguous, wasteful state-owned firms will see less power, and the market will be able to dictate prices.

Bitcoin, the digital crypto-currency, surged to a high of $618 today ahead of a Senate committee hearing on its legitimacy. The Department of Justice and the Securities and exchange Commission are in favor of declaring it a legitimate financial instrument.

Federal Reserve members Charles Plosser and Narayana Kocherlakota will deliver speeches on economic policy today.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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