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Before The Bell: Steel Stock Upgraded; Whitney Glum on Financials


Deutsche Bank upgraded MT, but as go the piggies, so goes the poke.

Morning Perspective: Steel Upgrade

Arcelor Mittal (MT) was upgraded from "hold" to "buy" by Deutsche Bank this morning, according to Bloomberg. The move comes a day after the world's largest steelmaker raised base prices for flat-carbon steel products in Europe by $59 a metric ton, bringing minimum prices on hot-rolled coil to nearly $900 a ton. Analyst David Martin at Deutsche Bank stated concerns of margin pressure in key markets were eased due to these price initiatives and believes the company will likely outperform its peers in 2008. Before jumping in, get context on the economy with yesterday's Five Things You Need To Know, by Professor Kevin Depew.

From the Bull Pen: Those wishing to play the upside in MT can set sell-stops below the 50 DMA ($72.50). Other steel plays include U.S. Steel (X) and AK Steel (AKS) sell-stops below $103 and $45 respectively.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can follow the downtrend in POSCO (PKX); buy-stops above recent highs $139.

Whitney Predicts More Pain

Reuters reports Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney is predicting more pain in the financial sector amid credit market turmoil, housing woes, and fears of a recession. Whitney, who was the first to predict a dividend cut at Citigroup (C), said in a CNBC interview that the bank would need to cut its dividend again and raise more capital. Further, she added that financials could fall 15% in a best case scenario and as much as 50% on a worst case basis. Read Todd's article Get Ready For A Massive Move.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls in the financial space can play MasterCard (MA) and State Street (STT); sell-stops can be set below $200 and $80 respectively.

From the Bear Cave:
Those bearish can look to the UltraShort Financials ETF (SKF). The stock tracks twice the inverse of the daily performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Financials index. Near-term sell-stops may be set below $106 (50 DMA).

Click on Minyanville's Stocks To Watch for more company-specific ideas.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.35%, Nikkei -1.37%, Sensex -2.17%, Taiwan +0.28% and Shanghai -3.47%.

Checking the European bourses, we find the CAC -0.42%, DAX -1.30%, FTSE -0.11%, ATX -0.26%, Swiss Mkt. +0.65% and Stockholm -0.42%.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are mostly higher. Crude oil is up +0.51 to 98.74. Gold is higher +1.90 to 948.00. Silver is up +0.010 to 17.960, and copper is up +10.50 to 381.05.

As of 8:45 AM ET, S&P futures are higher +2.80 points to 1349, and Nasdaq figures are up +3.75 points to 1779.

There are no events on the radar today. Happy Friday and Good luck!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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