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Before The Bell: Good Earners; Googles For Baidu

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Companies reporting better than expected earnings; Bidu gears up for Internet battle.

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Morning Perspective: A Good Earner

According to the WSJ the Dow Jones Industrial Average has recovered approximately 6% since falling below the 12,000 mark a month ago due in part to a number of positive earnings reports (excluding the financial sector). In the S&P 500, of the 462 companies that have reported, 62% beat analyst expectations with the best performing sectors being in the health, utilities, industrials, and tech. In relation to the dot-com bubble, eight out of 11 sectors in the S&P 500 reported annual earnings declines in 2001 compared with just three in 4Q of 2007. Read Professor Prieur du Plessis' column Is Now Time To Buy?

From the Bull Pen: In the tech space, a number of professors have favorably mentioned Apple (AAPL); sell-stops can be placed below yesterday's low $118. The Powershares Water ETF (PHO) is another option; sell-stops below $19.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can press the downside in the financials using the Financial ETF (XLF); buy-stops can be set above $28.

Googles For Baidu

Bloomberg reports Baidu (BIDU), gained the most in a month on rumors that the company acquired a web browser for an undisclosed amount. Sohu.com reported the company made the acquisition of Maxon, an Internet browser with an estimated 10 million users, earlier this week citing an unknown source. Analysts believe Baidu, China's main Internet search engine, made the acquisition in an effort to compete with Google (GOOG). Shares of BIDU rose as much as 9% yesterday in U.S. trading. Todd mentioned BIDU in his Random Thoughts.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can attempt the upside in GOOG; sell-stops below $450. The tech SPDR (XLK) is another option; sell-stops below $22.

From the Bear Cave: "Buy the rumor, sell the news." Bears can choose to short BIDU now with a buy-stop above recent highs ($280). Alternatively, bears can enter at $300 should the stock approach that level; buy-stops set above.

For more ideas, see Minyanville's Spotlight Stocks.

Quick Check Around the World

Critters fire up this Thursday pup and look upon a mixed bag of foreign markets.

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.44%, Nikkei -0.75%, Sensex -0.01%, Taiwan +1.86% and Shanghai -0.80%.

A quick look towards Europe finds mostly red with the CAC -0.84%, DAX -0.82%, FTSE -0.70%, ATX +0.12%, Swiss Mkt. -0.47% and Stockholm -0.71%.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are strong. Crude oil is up +0.48 to 100.12. Gold is higher +2.70 to 963.60. Silver is up +0.100 to 19.310, and copper is up +0.80 to 384.60.

The dollar index is down -0.61 to 74.149.

On the Radar

Economics

GDP Annualized: 0.6% vs. 0.8% cons
Personal Consumption: 1.9% vs. 2.0% cons
GDP Price Index: 2.7% vs. 2.6% cons
Core PCE (q/q): 2.7% inline
Initial jobless claims: 373 k vs. 350 k cons
Continuing claims: 2807 k vs. 2785 k cons

Help Wanted Index: 21 cons

Click here for the full trading radar.

Good luck, Today! Hooya!
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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