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Minyanville's Before The Bell: Ahead Of The Fed, Google's Not-So-Secret Phone


Paulson warns the housing slump has not bottomed, and Google is making moves for a Google Phone. Futures point lower ahead of the Fed.

Morning Perspective: Ahead Of The Fed

Bloomberg reports Treasury Secretary Paulson said at a conference in India that the U.S. housing slump has not yet hit a bottom but added, "there is enough strength in the economy that we can grow." The comments come a day before the FOMC announces its monetary policy decision, with Fed Fund Futures pricing in a 74% probability of a 25 bp cut and 12% chance of a 50 bp cut. Read Professor Cooper's Will The Market Get Funky With A Rate Cut?

The Bull Pen: Should the Fed do what is most unexpected, keep interest rates unchanged, the dollar could quickly reverse its downward spiral. The Powershares dollar bullish ETF (UUP) is one way to play a reversal in the dollar. The stop loss here is a Fed decision that goes against the thesis.

The Bear Cave: Those believing the slide in the dollar will continue and that the Fed's only real choice is whether to cut 25 or 50 basis points can look to the Powershares dollar bearish ETF (UDN). A move below 27.60 could be used as a short-term trading stop.

Google's Worst-Kept Secret

The WSJ reports Google (GOOG) is expected to announce within the next two weeks advanced software and services that will allow handset makers to bring Google-powered phones to market by the middle of 2008. The Web giant's goal is to make these applications and services as accessible on cellphones as they are on the Internet. For more tech ideas, read Professor Udall's Tech Is Down But Not Out and Professor Kreuger's Nintendo's Simple Secret.

The Bull Pen: Google bulls may place sell-stops at $660 (recent lows). Tertiary plays include Broadcom (BRCM) with a stop below $32, Yahoo (YHOO) with a stop below $30, Verizon (VZ) (stops can be initiated below $46, once set) and Apple (AAPL) (stops below $180).

The Bear Cave: Google faces a number of hurdles such as security and privacy issues. Those skeptical on GOOG may look to play the down-side with buy-stops above the all-time high ($680).

For more company-specific ideas, have a look at Minyanville's Stocks to Watch.

A Quick Check Around the World

Asian markets were mixed last night with the Hang Seng +0.16%, Nikkei -0.28%, Sensex -0.97%, Taiwan -0.53%, and Shanghai +2.60%.

Over in Europe, markets are lower with the CAC -0.51%, DAX -0.45%, and FTSE -0.71%. As of 8:30 AM EST, S&P futures are down -5.20 points and Nasdaq futures are lower by -9.0 points.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are lower this morning. Crude is lower by -1.22 to 92.31. Gold is down -5.1 to 787.5. Copper is off -0.57 to 3.46, and silver is lower by -0.07 to 14.36. The dollar index (DXY) is up +0.11 to 76.95.

On the Radar

Consumer confidence will be released at 10:00 AM EST.

Click here for Minyanville's full Trading Radar.

Good luck Minyans! Have a Great day!
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