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Before The Bell: Weak Dollar Beats Up Japan; Microsoft Gears Up For Google


Dollar pain is not Japan's gain. Mr. Softie plans to unveil new online services.

Morning Perspective: Weak Dollar Beats Up Japan

Last night the Japanese stock market took a beating with the Nikkei 225 dropping 4.49% after the dollar fell to multi-year lows against the yen. According to Bloomberg, leading the declines were the Japanese carmakers, Toyota (TM) falling 3.3%, Honda Motor (HMC), losing 5.8%, and Nissan Motor (NSANY) declining 4.5% on worries that the weak dollar would erode profits. The dollar fell to 102.93 this morning, its lowest level since January 2005 and sales in North America account for over half of the profits for the big three Japanese carmakers. Professors Kathy Lien and Boris Schlossberg discussed this scenario recently in How Low Will The Fed Go?

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can continue to ride the upside in the Japanese Yen ETF (FXY); sell-stops below the 50-DMA ($92)

From the Bear Cave
: Bears can play the downside in TM; buy-stops above $114. HMC is another option; buy-stops above $32.

Microsoft, Evolving Giant

According to The WSJ, Microsoft (MSFT) is pushing forward in the online services sector with plans to test new programs for small and medium-size businesses. The move is part of the company's latest effort to revamp itself for the Internet and compete with rival Google (GOOG). Among its services, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to announce new systems to handle e-mail, calendars, contact lists, video conferencing and other things which will allow workers to share more information and collaborate on projects. Microsoft made headlines early last month when it offered to buy Yahoo (YHOO) in hopes of better positioning itself in the online services space. For context, read Professor Sean Udall's Yahoo, Microsoft Best Bets.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Udall positively mentioned Microsoft. Bulls can play the upside with sell-stops below $26.

From the Bear Cave:
Bears can press the downside in GOOG; buy-stops above $500.

For more ideas, see Minyanville's Spotlight Stocks.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -3.07%, Nikkei -4.49%, Sensex -5.12%, Taiwan -1.78% and Shanghai +2.06%.

Over in Europe, we find the CAC -1.38%, DAX -1.92%, FTSE -1.76%, ATX -2.57%, Swiss Mkt. -1.81% and Stockholm -1.90%.

As of 8:45 AM EST, S&P Futures are lower by 0.90 points to 1330 and Nasdaq Futures are down by 0.50 to 1747.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are higher. Crude oil is down by -0.51 to 101.33. Gold is up +7.70 to 982.60. Silver is higher +0.332 to 20.140, and copper is up +5.55 to 390.75.

The dollar index is weaker by -0.095 to 73.618.

On the Radar


10:00 ISM Mfg: 48.5 cons
10:00 ISM Prices Paid: 73.5 cons
10:00 Construction Spending (m/m): -0.7% cons

Click here for Minyanville's full trading radar.

Happy Monday! Have an awesome day!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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