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Stock Futures Mixed Ahead Of Fed Meeting

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Stock futures are mixed this morning ahead of the Federal Reserve policy-makers decision on interest rates. Overall, the Fed is expected to cut rates by 50, with out an outside chance at 25. Leaving rates unchanged is a very remote possibility, and would send the markets tumbling. According to the CNBC Briefcase Indicator, which predicts the size of the rate cut based on the size of Greenspan's briefcase, is suggesting no change in interest rates. The Dow is up 15 points, the Nasdaq is down 1.50, and probably will remain in that range until 2:15PM EST.

On the earnings front, about 6 companies warned about or reported lower than expected earnings, 3 companies came in as expected, and 3 companies managed to post better than expected earnings. One of those was Palm. Well, they didn't actually report a profit, but the loss was better than expected! The company did add that it would attain profitability by the second quarter of 2002, by selling more Palm Pilots, cutting costs, and reducing its work force. PALM is up $1 in pre-market trading.

Another company that is up $1 is Vitesse Semiconductor (NASD:VTSS). But Vitesse warned that they would now post a net loss of 6 cents a share, instead of the previously expected profit of 3 cents a share.

Bond yields are down slightly, but like stocks, probably won't move much until later today.

Jeffrey Canavan
Assistant Analyst

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