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Minyanville's Before The Bell: Gold Continues to Rise, Futures Up


Markets in up most around the world. Gold continues to climb. Futures are up.

Stock futures are up this morning. As of 7:20 AM EST, S&P Futures are up 8.7 points to 1540, and Nasdaq futures are up 11.5 points to 2069.

In Japan, stocks declined on comments made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that the credit turbulence could make the housing crisis more severe. Exporters relying on the U.S. economy fell. Toyota (TM) the world's largest automaker by value, fell almost 2%. In addition, Japan's Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga emphasized the importance of Japan's goal of balancing the budget by 2011 due to the implications for the global economy and domestic financial markets. (From Bloomberg) The country's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell -0.62%. China's Shanghai Composite was also another laggard in Asia falling -0.28%.

As for the gainers, India's Sensex continued to rise as it touched a record high. The benchmark index rose +1.32%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose +0.56%, and Taiwan's TAIEX rose +1.36% even as the country's unemployment rate came in slightly higher than expect at 3.87% vs. estimates of 3.85%.

Markets in Europe are trading higher even as economic data added some downward pressure. The CAC is up by +0.38%, the FTSE is up by +0.77%, and the DAX is up by +0.57%. EU September PMI manufacturing came in at 53.2 vs. 53.9 cons, PMI services came in at 54 vs. 57.6 cons, and PMI composite came in at 54.5 vs. 56.9 cons. The data suggested Europe's manufacturing and service industries grew at the slowest pace in two years. (From Bloomberg) If you haven't had the chance, please read Minyan Peter's Minyan Mailbag: Why Europe Matters More

In a bit of good news for the U.S. dollar, Saudi Arabian officials said they don't have plans to abandon the peg to the dollar, but many economists remain skeptical believing other countries may eventually follow a move by Kuwait when the country decoupled its currency from the dollar. (From WSJ) Please read Professor Goepfert's Dollar Decline and Gold Rise… Business As Usual.

Here in the U.S, investors may see volatility increase as it is quadruple witching day, a day where equity index futures and index options, as well as equity options and futures, all expire on the same day.

Crude Oil is trading lower -0.10 to $81.68 while gold is up +3.2 to 743.1 this morning. Please read Professor Bloudek's article What Does Gold's Strength Mean For Markets?

In some stock-specific news, Warren Buffet via Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) was reported to buy more options for an additional 329 k shares in Burlington Northern (BNI) potentially increasing the stake to 53.4 mln shares from 52.98 mln shares. Buffet has also received clearance from antitrust officials to increase the stake to at least 25%. (From BTIG)

Another deal is in jeopardy. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are balking at completing the $8 bln purchase of audio-equipment maker Harman Industries (HAR). Sources close to the matter say the parties have come across new information that makes them hesitant to continue with the buyout, although it is unclear what the information is. If Goldman and KKR are allowed to walk away, the parties would be required to pay a $225 mln termination fee. (From WSJ)

For more stock-specific news today, please click on our Buzz Bits.

We have a very light radar this morning with no economic data schedule to be released. As earnings seasons begins to roll around, it may be worthwhile to brush up on your financial analytical skills. Please read Professor Reeves' article, How To Read An Earnings Report.

Happy Friday, Minyans! Good Luck and Good trading!
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