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Two Ways To Play: Hope for a Happy New Year?


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Grim Outlook for 2009

What's the outlook for 2009? According to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, US consumer spending will drop by the most since the 1940s and the unemployment rate will reach its highest levels in 25 years. The Federal Reserve will cut the benchmark interest rate to 0.5% because unemployment will soar to 8.2%.

Household spending will drop by 1%, the biggest decline since the attack on Pearl Harbor. In all, America's GDP is expected to contract at a rate of 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009 and 0.5% rate in the next.

For more, see Toddo's What's Next For Wall Street?

From the Bull Pen: We've talked about consumer staples into this downturn. Expenditures on education was another area that saw growth during recessionary times. Consider Apollo Group (APOL) with a sell stop below $70.

From the Bear Cave: The trend is no friend to Toyota (TM). Bears can consider testing the downside in this stock on rally to near $63. Buy stops can be set above that level.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 5.59%, Nikkei 3.15%, Sensex 5.37%, Taiwan 4.16% and Shanghai -3.04%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -0.03%, DAX 0.12%, FTSE -0.15%

As of 8:10 a.m. EST, S&P futures are trading +8.6 to 898, and Nasdaq futures are +11 to 1227.

A Look At Commodities

Crude oil is trading +2.25 to 44.29. Gold is +17.10 to 789.50. Silvber is +0.175 to 9.990, and copper is -5.650 to 142.15.

The dollar index is -0.022 to 85.815.

On the Radar


07:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:00 Wholesale Inventories
03:00 Monthly Budget Statement

Click here for the full trading radar.

Today's the hump. Good trading!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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