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Equity futures hanging onto gains

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Equity futures are showing some signs that the first day of 2001 will be higher. S&P futures are up fractionally, though they were higher earlier this morning. NASDAQ futures are up 5 and Dow futures are stronger by 12.

Analyst actions

Late last week, analysts were hard at work with upgrades and downgrades and today isn't any different. Deutsche Banc Alex Brown lowered their rating on retailer's Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Linens N Things (LIN) this morning from "strong buy" to "buy". Robertson Stephens looks to be the most hard at work this morning in the downgrade group as it cuts Verisign (VRSN), Internet Security Systems (ISSX), Certicom (CERT), Netiq Corp. (NTIQ), Inktomi Corp (INKT), Network Engines (NENG) and Network Appliances (NTAP) to "long-term attractive" from "buy" as the firm cites weak IT spending in the first-half of 2001.

Due for a bounce?

Shares of Citrix Systems (CTXS) might get a bounce this morning after UBS Warburg upped its rating for the shares to "buy" from "hold" and set a 12-month price target at $28. Year 2000 saw the stock crater from a high of $122 to a low of near $14.25, but the stock has been setting a series of higher highs and higher lows recently. Traders might want to look at this stock as one that might benefit from a near-term lack of selling as "tax-loss selling season" has come and gone. On Friday, shares of CTXS closed at $22.50 and some trading is taking place in the pre- market at $22.88.

Citrix Systems Chart - last eleven months.

Traders might want to keep an eye on shares of CTXS over the next couple of sessions. The stock has started to see a series of higher lows since August and has horizontal support dating back to April of 1999. Ideally the stock would pull back to the $20 level, but might be a candidate for a "bounce" if tax-loss sellers are gone.

Staff Analyst

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