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Before The Bell: China's Energy Focus; Home Prices Decline


China says it will focus on alternative energy. Home prices have yet to signal a bottom. Future are lower.


Morning Perspective: China's Energy Focus

AP reports China promised Wednesday to give "top priority to developing renewable energy." In a 44-page report, the Chinese government said it will focus on developing hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, wind, and even natural gas extracted from garbage dumps and coal mines in an effort to curb its dependence on oil and natural gas. The government, however, warned that its coal consumption will grow dramatically and declined restricting limits on its greenhouse gas emissions. Professor Quint Tatro recently mentioned alternative energy plays in his article Flexibility Makes The Trader.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Quint Tatro is bullish in the solar space, namely Evergreen Solar (ESLR) and Energy Conversion Devices (ENER). Sell-stops may be placed below $17 and $34.50 respectively.

From the Bear Cave: Professor Sean Udall mentioned First Solar (FSLR) approaching near "bubble type levels." Bears can play the downside, buy-stops above $282.

Home Prices Decline

Reuters reports home prices in the U.S. fell the most in at least six years suggesting the housing slump may be far from over. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of 10 metropolitan areas showed a -6.7% year-over-year decline in October. The group's newer composite home price index on 20 metropolitan areas showed an annual decline of -6.1%. Further, on a month-over-month basis both indexes fell 1.4% in October compared with September. For more, read Professor Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need To Know.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls with more risk tolerance may look for a bounce in the iShares DJ real estate ETF (IYR); near-term sell-stops below $65. Pulte Homes (PHM) is also an option with sell-stops below $10.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can press the downside in Toll Brothers (TOL) with buy-stops above $22

Click on Minyanville's Stocks To Watch for more company-specific ideas.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.02%, Nikkei -0.57%, Sensex +0.12%, Taiwan +1.93% and Shanghai +1.44%.

A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.69%, DAX +0.81%, FTSE +0.24%, ATX +0.89%, Swiss Mkt. +0.75% and Stockholm +0.22%.

A Look At Commodities

Crude oil is higher this morning +0.50 to 96.47. Gold is lower -0.90 to 825.10. Silver is higher +0.17 to 14.69 and copper is lower -2.25 to 313.25.

The dollar index is down -0.05 to 77.10.

As of 9:00 AM ET, S&P futures are down by -6.1 points and Nasdaq futures are lower by -6.50 points.

On the Radar

Initial Claims 349K vs 340K, prior revised to 348K from 346K

Durable Goods ex-trans -0.7% vs +0.5% consensus, prior revised to -0.4% from -0.7%

Durable Goods Orders +0.1% vs +2.0%, prior revised to -0.2% from -0.4%

10:00 Consumer Confidence: 87.0 cons
10:30 Crude Inventories

Click here for the full trading radar.

Good luck today!

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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