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Mixed Monday

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Futures on the major averages were mixed Monday morning, with the Nasdaq contract trading slightly higher and Dow and S&P contracts weaker. Stocks in Asia and Europe were weak overnight, so it looks like the U.S. markets will have to buck that trend in order to trade high.

Despite the slightly higher Nasdaq futures trade, the pre-market indicator is forecasting a slightly negative opening by a few points.

Notable Analyst Actions

Lehman upgraded WorldCom (NASDAQ:WCOM) to a strong buy rating this morning.

B of A downgraded ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) from a strong buy rating to a buy rating, with a $43 price target.

The booming biotech sector may receive yet another pop this morning as Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) received FDA approval for its HIV treatment known as Viread. GILD was trading higher by about $1 in the pre-market session.

Credit Suisse recommended buying Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) ahead of the company's earnings report next Monday as the research firm believes the networking giant has the potential to surprise to the upside.

Raising The Bar Before The Bell

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) raised its earnings expectations for its second-quarter. Raising of earnings estimates is something we haven't hear of for a while, especially from a company that is leveraged to the company such as FedEx, because it's a transportation company.

Analyst Meetings

Two tech-related analyst meetings to be aware of today. Solectron (NYSE:SLR) will be talking with investors today, and so will Internet heavyweight eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Both stocks could be in play ahead of their meetings.

Eric Utley
Option Investor

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