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Before The Bell: Little Engines That Could and Smartphone Battle


BNI is a train to happy town; Apple moving in on RIMM.


Morning Perspective: Train to Happy Town

According to Bloomberg, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI) is forecasting "more moderate growth" in the coal hauling business. Yesterday, a company executive gave the prediction on the grounds that U.S. power plants won't need as many shipments because of high coal inventories. Coal-hauling shipments account for approximately 20% of the company's revenue, but CFO Tom Hund told analyst that even with the projected slowdown in coal, EPS will rise at least 10% in the current quarter. Read Professor Guy Adami's column, Burlington Northern Leads Railroad Charge.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Adami positively mentioned BNI. Those bullish can set sell-stops in the near term below $85. Other options include CSX (CSX); entry near $46.50 with sell-stops set below.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can attempt downside plays in the coal sector. Sell-stops can be placed above $52 for Arch Coal (ACI) and above $58 for Peabody Energy (BTU).

iPhone vs. Blackberry

WSJ reports Apple (AAPL) is making a move on Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry. Yesterday, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled new features such as push email, push contact lists and security enhancements in an effort to gain more traction with corporate users. In addition, Jobs also announced a $100 million fund with a venture capital firm that will invest in start-ups dedicated to developing iPhone software. Even without the features, however, the iPhone has surged to the number two position in the smartphone market in less than a year, grabbing a 28% share behind RIMM's BlackBerry. Professor Quint Tatro mentioned Apple in his recent column The Art of Technical Analysis.

From the Bull Pen: The presentation has led a number of brokerages to issue positive comments on Apple. Bulls can play the upside with sell-stops below recent lows ($116).

From the Bear Cave: Bears believe Apple will continuously take away the market share of RIMM. Buy-stops can be set above recent highs ($105) on downside attempts.

For more ideas, see Minyanville's Spotlight Stocks.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -3.60%, Nikkei -3.27%, Sensex -3.42%, Taiwan -1.47% and Shanghai -1.39%.

A quick look towards Europe finds the CAC -1.01%, DAX -1.39%, FTSE -1.34%, ATX -1.50%, Swiss Mkt. -1.66% and Stockholm -1.30%.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are higher. Crude oil is up +0.13 to 105.61. Gold is higher +10.60 to 987.70. Copper is up +1.40 to 392.85, and silver is higher +0.429 to 20.560.

The dollar index is down -0.332 to 72.675.

On the Radar

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls: -63 k vs. 25 k cons
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% vs. 5.0% cons
Change in Mfg Payrolls: -52 k vs. -25 k cons
Avg Hourly Earnings (m/m) 0.3% vs. 0.3% cons
Avg Hourly Earnings (y/y) 3.7% vs. 3.6% cons
Avg Weekly Hours: 33.7 vs. 33.7 cons

Happy Friday, Minyans! Good luck, today!


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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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