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Walgreen Banking on Pill Poppers


Earnings report key for drugstore chain.

Editor's Note: This is Justin Sharon's first column for Minyanville. He will be writing the Morning Memo daily. Justin has worked on Wall Street for many years, most recently at the Private Client unit of Merrill Lynch. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.

Minyanville Morning Memo

What to Watch: In an otherwise sleepy first full day of summer we get third quarter earnings from Walgreen (WAG) before the bell. As America's biggest drugstore chain, this should be the prototypical defensive play. Even (especially?) in recession, we remain a nation of pill poppers, so how healthy the company's numbers come in could be key.

What Just Happened: Last week, stocks slipped with the Dow down three percent, while a fall in bond prices pushed the 10-year note yield up to 3.79%.

What's Happening: Back to the futures, US markets are expected to open lower amid talk that the rally from March's lows is looking a tad tired. European exchanges are trading down, a trend bucked by Asia overnight. The Greenback is a mixed bag and oil futures fell, to the relief - and astonishment - of drivers who've seen prices at the pump up for an essentially unprecedented 50 plus days in a row.

What Will Happen: It's not a Manic Monday. Things are fairly quiet on the financial front this morning but things crank up considerably as the week unfolds. The Fed's two day confab on interest rates concludes on Wednesday. We'll be learning about earnings from Monsanto (MON), Nike (NKE), Palm (PALM) and Oracle (ORCL) and a battery of economic data is out. May existing home sales are due tomorrow. On Wednesday the government releases its report on May Durable Goods, big ticket items expected to last more than three years (I often wonder if marriage is included in this definition) and on Friday we get readings on income, spending and consumer sentiment. And the name is Bond, Treasury Bond; look out for record auctions this week.

Happenstance: In today's wild card, normally only news geeks peruse Saturday's papers but when The Wall Street Journal revealed this weekend that Steve Jobs had a liver transplant, waves were made. Keep an eye on Apple (AAPL).
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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