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Before The Bell: Monsanto's Solid Quarter; Soros Says Not the Bottom


Soros sees this rally as short-lived, lasting just six weeks to three months.

Morning Perspective: Yeah MON!

According to Bloomberg, Monsanto's (MON) second-quarter profit more than doubled on strong demand for its genetically modified corn seed and Roundup weed killer. The world's largest seed producer said 2Q earnings came in at $1.79 per share, beating expectations of $1.75. Last week MON raised its 2008 forecast for the third time and reiterated earnings that annual profits would come in the range of $3.15 to $3.25 per share. CEO Hugh Grant said in the company conference call, "Between now and 2012, I think we're the only company in agriculture that can point to consistent growth irrespective of swings in commodity prices, fluctuations in planted acres or the usual ups and downs in the popularity of things like ethanol." Professor Guy Adami mentioned Monsanto recently in his article Do DuPont as Agriculture Soars.

From the Bull Pen: Those bullish MON can set near-term sell-stops below recent lows ($104); and DuPont (DD); sell-stops below $46.

From the Bear Cave
: Those bearish can short the Agricultural ETF (DBA); buy-stops above $39.

Soros Says Not the Bottom

According to Bloomberg, billionaire investor George Soros said the markets have yet to experience "the final bottom." Soros, who manages his $17 billion Quantum Endowment Fund, called the current financial crisis the worst since the Great Depression and said the markets had a "good bottom," referring to the rally after JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) agreement to acquire Bear Stearns (BSC). However, the rally will be relatively short-lived as he expects a recovery to last anywhere from the next six weeks to three months amid a looming recession in the U.S. Get Mr. Practical's view in Time To Pay The Piper.

From the Bull Pen: Soros expects foreign currencies to rise against the dollar and Mr. Practical has mentioned the Japanese yen ETF (FXY). Bulls can play the upside with sell-stops below $95.

From the Bear Cave: Bears are hesitant to short at the moment but can play the downside in the retail ETF (RTH); entry near $100; buys-tops above $105.

For more ideas, see Minyanville's Spotlight Stocks.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.64%, Nikkei +1.52%, Sensex +0.52%, Taiwan -0.10% and Shanghai +2.94%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -0.90%, DAX -0.95%, FTSE -0.71%

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are mostly lower. Crude oil is down -0.44 to 104.39. Gold is up +0.40 to 895.60. Silver is unchanged at 17.18, and copper is lower -2.15 to 386.70.

On the Radar

Initial Jobless Claims: 407 k vs. 366 k prior.
Continuing Claims: 2937 k vs. 2860 k cons.
RPX Composite 28 dy Index: 242.15
RPX Composite 28 dy (y/y): -9.18%

10:00 ISM Non-mfg composite: 48.8 cons

Click here for the full trading radar.

Good luck today, Minyans!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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