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Two Ways: All Smiles in Asia

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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Happy Happy, Joy Joy

US stock futures are higher this morning, boosted in part by sentiment in Asia. Word that China's economy may be leading the region out of the economic downturn caused Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index to rally 5.5% last night, moving above 16,000 points for the first time this year.

According to Reuters, China's Purchasing Manager's Index -- a gauge of manufacturing activity -- rose for a fifth consecutive month in April to 53.5%, an increase of 1.1% over the previous month. Elsewhere, Taiwan's stock exchange jumped 5.6% on hopes that improved relations with China would spur further investment. India's Sensex also closed higher, by 6.4%, with increased interest in metal, IT and banking stocks resulting in a close above 12,000 for the first time in 7 months.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can still look to agriculture plays like Terra Industries (TRA). The stock seems to have held support at $26 and is approaching $30 for the third time around (triple tops typically don't hold). A sell stop can be set below $26.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can keep an eye on UPS (UPS). Watch if the stock is making a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern on the daily chart. Closing below $51 could confirm this signal. Those testing the downside can keep a buy stop 2% above entry.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 5.54%, Nikkei 1.69%, India 6.41%, Shanghai 3.32% and Taiwan 5.64%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC 0.92%, DAX 1.69%, ATX 3.12%,3

As of 8:15 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +4 to 880.00, and Nasdaq futures are +10 to 1408.00.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is trading -0.47 to 52.73 while gold is -3.5 at 891.70 this morning. Silver is +0.850 to 1258.5 and copper +5.35 to 215.50.

The dollar index is +0.3100 to 85.0150.

On the Radar

Economics

10:00 Construction Spending -1.4%
10:00 Pending Home Sales 0.0%

Speeches

12:30 Tom Hoening Speaks
02:00 Jeffrey Lacker Speaks

Click here for the full trading radar.

Good luck today!

No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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