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Before The Bell: Recession More Likely Than Not; Tech News From The CES


A Harvard economist says a recession is more likely than not. CES is making tech bulls happy. Futures are up.

Morning Perspective: Recession More Likely Than Not

According to Bloomberg, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein said the odds of the U.S. headed into a recession are more than 50% after last Friday's jobs report. "We are now talking about more likely than not," said Feldstein, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Feldstein added that with essentially no growth in jobs, consumers will likely be reluctant to spend, putting a further drag on growth in 2008. Professor Kevin Depew spoke of the jobs report in last Friday's Five Things You Need To Know.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Depew noted safer plays in Healthcare and Consumer Staples. Bulls may choose Hologic (HOLX), sell-stops below $67; or Proctor & Gamble (PG), sell-stops below $70.

From the Bear Cave: Bears may play the downside on the Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) should the stock rally towards $32.50. Buy-stops may be set above.

Tech News From The Consumer Electronics Show

Reuters reports Microsoft (MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates said the tech industry was on the cusp of the next "digital decade." "Everything will connect up," Gates said in his last keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show reiterating his prediction that all media and entertainment will be digital-driven, with the focus being on speech and touch recognition. Meanwhile Yahoo (YHOO) unveiled today its new strategy to extend the company's leadership in the mobile ecosystem. Amongst other things, Yahoo will allow users to quickly customize the Yahoo home page to be viewed on small mobile phone screens. Read Professor Sean Udall's article 18 Themes For 2008.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls choosing MSFT and YHOO may set sell-stops below $34 and $22.25 respectively.

From the Bear Cave:
Bears may find a downside play in Riverbed (RVBD). Professsor Zucchi called this stock "flat out expensive." Bears may see a prudent entry should the stock rally; buy-stops set above $27.

Click on Minyanville's stocks to watch for more company-specific ideas. Also click on Professor Tuttle's Week in Review: January 4, 2008.

Quick Check Around the World

Traders fire up their systems for a full week of ticks as foreign markets greet us shrugging their shoulders.

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.24%, Nikkei -1.30%, Sensex +0.61%, Taiwan -4.11% and Shanghai +0.59%.

A glance towards Europe finds the CAC+0.47%, DAX +0.34%, FTSE +0.27%, ATX -0.60%, Swiss Mkt. +0.77% and Stockholm -0.15%.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are flat. Crude oil is lower by -0.25 to 97.66. Gold is down -0.60 to 865.10. Silver is off by -0.0.36 to 15.346, and copper is higher by +0.85 to 315.00.

The dollar index is up by +0.249 to 76.045.

As of 8:30 AM ET, S&P and Nasdaq futures are up 6.80 and 5.50, respectively, to 1429.70 and 1990.50.

On the Radar

There are no economic events scheduled for today.

Click here for the full trading radar.

Happy Monday, Minyans! Good luck!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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