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Stock futures start year in the green

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Stock futures are higher this morning as traders and investors begin year 2002. S&P futures have been fractionally higher at 1,150, but the bulk of the stock futures gains have been seen in the NASDAQ futures, which are up 8.5 points to 1,592. Dow futures are higher by 47 points at 10,015.

South Korean chipmaker raises prices

South Korean chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor said it would raise its DRAM chip prices on chips it sells to the computer industry and that has sparked an early morning rally in chip related stocks. Hynix said that the recent release of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows XP and a "PC sales boom" in China have increased demand for memory chips. Germany's Infineon, which makes memory chips, rose 5.4% and other European chipmakers also benefited in overseas trading. Shares of Dow component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is trading higher in pre-market action at $31.80, after finishing Monday's trading session at $31.45. Micron Technology (NYSE:MU) is trading higher in Instinet trading by 3.6% (+$1.13) at $32.13 and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) is up 30 cents at $16.16.

Merrill Lynch likes AT&T

Merrill Lynch is upgrading its recommendation on shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) this morning to "buy" from "neutral" due to Merrill's view that the recently sweetened bid from Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSK) for AT&T's broadband unit will have a favorable impact on AT&T's balance sheet. Merrill also believes that AT&T's stock is now a 70% proxy for Comcast. Merrill expects regulators to approve the recent broadband deal between Comcast and AT&T.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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