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Tomorrow's economic data could spice things up

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Since the first hour of trading, stocks have traded in a sideways range and backed off their early morning highs. While many traders are taking the week off, tomorrow's economic data will most likely be watched closely, even if it is from the relative's family room. Perhaps the person that invented that "last/previous" button on the TV remote control invented it so he/she could flip over from the football game to the financial channel for an update of what the latest economic data is saying about the economy.

Tomorrow morning at 08:30 AM EST, traders will get two economic numbers. The first will be weekly jobless claims where economists are expecting jobless claims to grow to 402,000, which is roughly 18,000 higher than the previous week's number of 384,000. Durable goods orders are also due at and economists expect a decline of 4.1%.

Then later at 10:00 AM EST, new home sales will be released. Here economists expect new home sales to be 870,000, which is just less than October's reading of 880,000. Existing home sales will be released at the same time and much like the new home sales number, economists are expecting a slight decline from October's level of 5.17M to 5.11M.

Perhaps the most WIDELY WATCHED number will be the consumer confidence numbers released at 10:00 AM EST. Economists are expecting a slight increase in November from October levels of confidence. Current estimates are for consumer confidence to come in at a reading of 82.7.

Yahoo! Inc. wins over HotJobs

Monster.com's parent TMP Worldwide (NASDAQ:TMPW) said it would not try and outbid Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) for HotJobs (NASDAQ:HOTJ) and the battle for the online recruiter has come to and end.

After this morning's news that TMPW would not sweeten its bid of $332 million in TMPW stock. HotJobs (HOTJ) then announced it would accept Yahoo's (YHOO) bid of roughly $436 million in cash and stock, or $10.50 per HotJob's shares.

In the end, many feel that the near-term loser here is HotJobs' shareholders, especially those that may have paid as high as $45 per share for the company's stock back in late 1999.

UBS Warburg analyst, Kelly Flynn said, "Yahoo's presence in the space doesn't materially change our opinion about TMP's prospects. While Yahoo clearly has the capital and brand clout (name) to significantly alter the competitive environment in the space, history suggests that this may not be enough to threaten TMP's leadership position."

Aram Sinnreich, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix feels, "While we commend their overall strategy (YHOO) of building paying relationships with customers, there are better ways to spend money in this challenging economy. Either way, Monster.com wins because they will own this market in the long run."

Wow! that's a bold statement. Let's see what the market is saying about TMP Worldwide's (TMPW) stock.

TMP Worldwide Chart - $1 box

The supply (X, up) and demand (O, down) chart for TMP Worldwide (TMPW) is bullish. The stock is in a longer-term upward trend (bullish support) and current vertical price count indicates longer-term bullishness to $71. While I doubt that shares of TMPW will run to $71 without giving a sell signal before it reaches $71, the thought of the stock reaching that potential level from the vertical count should have some institutions interested in the stock near-term. First sign of weakness would come at $40, but the first real sign of trouble is at $38. On any type of broader weakness, it would not surprise me to see the stock pull into its bullish support trend. For the "strong stock on pullback" type of trader, a successful test and 3-box reversal higher from the bullish support trend may be the place to be looking. I like shares of TMPW as bullish here with a stop at $38.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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