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Stock futures mixed

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Stock futures are mixed this morning as S&P futures trade lower by 2 points at 1,135. NASDAQ futures are showing a gain of 3.5 points at 1,556, while Dow futures are lower by 18 points at 9,815.

Today's stock trading session will be shortened as the stock market closes at 01:00 PM EST.

Morgan Stanley prefers Bristol-Myers over Lilly

This morning's call from Morgan Stanley is for shareholders of Eli-Lilly (NYSE:LLY) to switch stock symbols and rotate to Bristol Myers Squib (NYSE:BMY). Morgan Stanley is raising estimates for 2002 and 2003 earnings on Lilly, but downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform" due to the stocks premium valuation. Today's downgrade in Eli-Lilly (NYSE:LLY) comes just after Wednesday's announcement by Lilly that it won FDA approval for its sepsis drug Xigris. Morgan Stanley isn't sure if Xigris will be able to fill the void left by Prozac sales, when that drug went generic.

Pre-market trading relatively quiet

Pre-market trading is relatively quiet this morning. Shares of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) are 16 cents lower than Wednesday's close of $30.81.

Oil service bellwethers Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) are edging higher by 50 cents and 30 cents respectively. Gains for the oil service sector remain suspect as it is not sure if Russia will stick with recently promised production cuts and many expect those cuts to not exceed 50,000 barrels this winter.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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