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Ticker Shock: Honeywell News Not So Sweet; MGM to Sell Treasure Island

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Monday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.

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Time just goes so fast. Where did the weekend go? I still have so much shopping to do. Yeesh.

Anyway, Asian markets moved higher as we slept. The Hang Seng rose almost 2% and the Nikkei was up more than 5%. Europe was showing me some green earlier this morning as well. And here in the U.S. we are currently trading lower.

Here's what's on my radar today:

Honeywell (HON)
Honeywell offered up its outlook for 2008 and 2009 earlier this morning. The diversified company came out and said it's looking for $3.76 to $3.80 a share for 2008. That seems consistent with the EPS guidance it offered back in October in conjunction with its third quarter numbers.

It's also essentially consistent with the $3.76 a share that analysts are apparently expecting. For 2009, however, the company is looking for $3.20 to $3.55 a share and revenues of $33.6 to $35.3 billion. The Street is at $3.37 a share and is looking for revs of about $35.9 billion.

But is this the worst thing in the world?

Nah, not to my mind. I think it could have painted a much bleaker outlook. Long story short, I think the shares have a chance to see upside today.

Incidentally, one thing I would really like to see is insiders take the plunge and line up to buy their stock in the open market, especially since it's trading near the lower end of its 52-week trading range.

Aetna (AET)
The Connecticut based company disseminated some guidance earlier today. In terms of operating earnings it's looking for $3.90 to $3.95 a share in 2008. That seems like good news, as I'm seeing an analyst estimate right now of $3.93 for 2008. According to the release:

"Preliminary 2009 operating earnings per share growth guidance of 3 to 5 percent, subject to finalization of 2009 pension expense, which will be determined based on December 31, 2008 market data."

That seems like decent news given that the Street is at $4.09 a share for 2009. To be frank, I think the stock in the low $20s is pretty attractive at this point. I also think the shares close in the green in today's session on this news.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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