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Economic data inline

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Investors have been absorbing a lot of economic data recently and this morning they get four more bites of "economic pie" to chew on.

Jobless claims for the week ending January 26th rose by 30K to 390,000, which was a little higher than the survey number for 385,000. The employment cost index (ECI) rose 0.9%, which was slightly better than the 1% rise economist's were looking for. Personal income rose 0.4%, while personal spending fell 0.2%. The personal income number was 0.1% higher than expected, while spending was inline with consensus. This morning's economic numbers don't look like they will impact stock action today.

Later today at 10:00 AM EST, the Chicago PMI report is due out and economist will be looking for a reading of 45%.

Stock futures little changed

We have seen little impact on stock futures from this morning's economic data as S&P futures currently trade near the unchanged level and just fractionally higher at $1,116. NASDAQ futures are up 12.5 points at $1,554, while Dow futures are unchanged at $9.760.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.48. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.28 and set for program selling at $-1.32. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $3.15.

McLeodUSA files for Chapter 11

Local telephone company McLeodUSA (NASDAQ:MCLD) $0.18, said it has filed for bankruptcy with a reorganization plan supported by its bondholders that will erase nearly $3 billion in debt. Under the pre-negotiated reorganization plan, McLeodUSA's bondholders will receive up to $670 million in cash, $175 million of preferred stock convertible in 15% of the reorganized company's stock, as warrants to purchase an additional 6% of the company's stock.

Cendant posts info on off-balance sheet investments

In a response to recent concerns over off-balance sheet entities, Cendant (NYSE:CD) has posted to their website (www.cendant.com), information on their investments in affiliated entities. The company said "Cendant has investments in unconsolidated entities principally to support its business model of growing earnings and cash flow with minimal risk. In an effort to provide clarity and eliminate further misunderstanding, we have compiled what we believe to be all the relevant information in one location on the website."

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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