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Two Ways To Play: Toyota Ekes Out a Profit


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.


Market Bottom?

With the recent market plunge, investors are asking, "Are we near a bottom?" Note quite says the head of the International Monetary Fund. According to Reuters, IMF director general Dominique Strauss-Kahn explained, "The roots of the crisis are behind us, the roots being the fall in housing prices. The consequences for some financial institutions are still in front of us.

We have to expect that there may be in the coming weeks and coming months other financial institutions with some other problems." Kraus did say the world economy was resilient and should rebound in 2009. See Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need To Know.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can look to Heinz (HNZ) as it sits in a favorable sector. Sell stops can be set in the $50-51 range.

From the Bear Cave: Bears see a downside play in the homebuilders ETF (XHB); buy stops can be set above $22.

Toyota See Profitability Ahead

Even after cutting its sales target last month for 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports Toyota (TM) still expects to achieve a profit in its North American business. In August, the company lowered its North American sales target to 2.7 million, down from 3.1 million, after lowering its global sales forecast to 9.75 million vehicles for the year. But president of Toyota Motor Sales, Jim Lentz, said the company is profitable and he expects that to continue. Lentz ceded it's a tough year time, Toyota closed down 2 production lines for 3 months this year to adjust its inventory for the expected lower demand.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can look elsewhere. Notice how AutoZone (AZO) shares bounced off the $130 strike. Bulls can play the upside in that stock with sell stops below that level.

From the Bear Cave: Bears recognize the trend line in Toyota remains down and can play the downside if and when the stock rallies to $93-95.

For more ideas in real time throughout the trading day, check out Minyanville's Buzz & Banter.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -3.63%, Nikkei +1.21%, Sensex -1.89%, Taiwan +0.77% and Shanghai -2.90%.

Over in Europe, we see the CAC +0.99%, DAX +0.79%, FTSE +1.41%

As of 8:30 a.m. EST, S&P Futures are trading -16 points to 1200 and Nasdaq futures are off -14 points to 1719.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are higher. Crude oil is +3.42 to 94.57. Gold is +5.10 to 782.20, silver is -0.613 to 10.462, and copper is +2.30 to 313.60.

The dollar index lower -0.280 to 78.788.

On the Radar


7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Current Account Balance: -$179.4 bln cons.
8:30 Housing Starts: 950 k cons.
8:30 Building Permits: 925 k cons.

Click here for the full trading radar.

Do the Humpty Hump! Good luck today!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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