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Before The Bell: Monsanto and Schering-Plough Make Bulls Happy


This morning we highlight two stocks makin' Hoofy proud.

Morning Perspective: Monsanto Raises Forecast

Monsanto (MON) raised its guidance this morning for FY2008. The company now expects EPS to come in the range of $2.70-2.80 above its previous target of $2.50-2.60. Consensus estimates call for the company to report EPS figures of $2.81. In addition, the tech-based agricultural company says it expects its glyphosate business to deliver between $1.3 bln to $1.4 bln of gross profit in fiscal year 2008. Professor Guy Adami mentioned Monsanto in Burlington Northern Chugging Along.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Ryan Krueger has been bullish on Monsanto, stating last month that "there is simply not enough supply of key crops to meet demand." Bulls may set sell-stops in the near term below $110.

From the Bear Cave: In a similar space, bears see a downtrend in Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG). Buy-stops may be placed above the 200-DMA ($41.75) on any downside attempt.

SGP Beats!

Schering-Plough (SGP) beat estimates this morning reporting fourth quarter earnings of $0.27 per share. The figure was $0.03 better than analyst estimates of $0.24. The worldwide pharmaceutical company said revenues rose 40.5% year-over-year to $3.72 bln vs. analyst expectations of $3.1 bln cons. Todd mentioned Schering-Plough last week in his Random Thoughts.

From the Bull Pen: Todd has positively mentioned SGP as it sits in one of his "go-to" spaces for upside exposure. Sell-stops may be set below yesterday's low $19.50.

From the Bear Cave: Bears see resistance at $22.50 for SGP which represents the 50% retracement from its January high. Downside entry should the stock rally to that level; buy-stops may be set above.

For more ideas, see Minyanville's Spotlight Stocks.

Quick Check Around the World

Traders fight the February chill this morning and come in to see Asia all mixed up and Europe skewed to the upside.

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.35%, Nikkei +0.04%, Sensex -0.14%, Taiwan -1.57% and Shanghai -1.55%.

A quick look towards Europe finds the CAC +1.48% DAX +1.62%, FTSE +1.24%, ATX +0.22%, Swiss Mkt. +0.41% and Stockholm +0.73%.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are lower this morning. Crude oil is down -1.12 to 92.47. Gold is lower -8.90 to 914.00. Silver is down -0.015 to 17.455, but copper is higher +1.90 to 355.35.

As of 8:45 AM EST, S&P futures are trading +8.80 points to 1346 and Nasdaq futures are higher +14 points to 1811.

On the Radar


2:00 Monthly Budget Statement: $28.5 bln
5:00 ABC Consumer Confidence: -33 prior

Click here for Minyanville's full trading radar.

Have a great day today, Minyans! Good luck!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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