Stock futures are flat this morning even as a round of positive analyst comments lift sentiment in the chip sector this morning.
JP Morgan upgraded semiconductor sector to BUY believing conditions are in the process are bottoming this quarter. JPMS likes TXN, MCHP and NVDA, but remain cautious on AMD and INTC believing another inventory correction will hit the PC component market.
GM and Ford (F) have been upgraded from HOLD to BUY at Deutsche Bank. DBAB thinks the big three will get a better money saving health agreement with the UAW that will enable the companies to further restructure.
The Detroit News, by the way, reports that 1,000 white collar jobs face the axe at DaimlerChrysler (DCX), mostly in Michigan.
US Steel Group (X) gets hit with downgrades from both CIBC and Bank of America both going to the equivalent of HOLDS. Both cite high share valuation the likelihood the stock discounts higher steel prices.
This one jumped out at well. UAL (UAUA) has been added to Goldman Sach's Americas Conviction BUY List with a $55 target. The stock traded yesterday at $45.
Mastercard (MA) posted 4the quarter EPS at 31c vs expected 15c on revenue of $839 mln vs expected $821 mln.
Countrywide Funding (CFC) posted its mortgage loan volume data for January. Loans are up from the year before, but down sequentially. Click here for the spin. God forbid that they should put month over month numbers out for everything especially for subprime and home equity, but those can be dug up.
Crude oil got to $60.50 last night on speculation OPEC is curtailing production based on recent tanker data. Nigerian tensions are also flaring up, providing further juice to the bulls. Nat Gas went as high as $8.05 as the Climate Prediction Center says it will remain colder than normal in key nat gas heating areas for the next two weeks.
Gold is back at $665 again.. and made up to $666 again where the brick wall remains. I;ve got a small long futures position simmering there today and we'll see what happens.
Dollar ahead of G7 remains little changed. Communique is likely not to address Yen weakness, as was speculated earlier in the week, according to a number of analysts.
10 yr treasury yield holds at 4.78%