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Stock futures mixed as General Motors ups guidance

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General Motors (NYSE:GM) $53.11 is raising its first-quarter and full year earnings guidance for 2002 along with production schedules to reflect better-than-expected industry sales. For its first quarter, GM said it now sees earnings of $1.20 a share, which is higher than previous guidance for $1.00 a share. For full year EPS the company now projects earnings of $3.00.

In a separate note, the company said it will sell $2.5 billion in convertible debt securities.

The upbeat news on earnings from GM has left stock futures rather mixed. S&P futures are trading right near unchanged levels at 1,091, NASDAQ futures are trading higher by 7.50 points at 1,366, while Dow futures are lower by 20 points at 9,970.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.12. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.48 and set for selling at $-0.94. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $2.22.

As it stands now, traders are looking for a modestly higher open for the S&P 500, and a stronger open for the NASDAQ-100.

Qualcomm reaffirms guidance

Cell phone chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) $32.70, are trading higher in pre-market action at $34.90 (+6.7%) after the company reaffirmed its second quarter outlook for earnings of approximately $0.20 a share, which is inline with consensus estimates. "Our second quarter targets for MSM phone chip shipments are coming in on the upper end of our original estimates of 13-14 million units, and our CDMA2000 1X chip shipments are expected to be approximately 1 million units higher than our original estimate," the company said.

Lots of tech upgrades boosting NASDAQ futures

This morning's market news is rather positive as brokers are upgrading a plethora of technology stocks. Shares of Emulex (NASDAQ:EMLX) $35.40 are being raised to "strong buy" at First Albany and given a 12-month price target of $42.50.

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) $8.07 are being raised to "buy" from "market perform" at Banc of American. The firm saying the recent decline in the shares now reflects more realistic expectations and that IT spending should resume in the second- half of 2002, which should lead to greater top-line growth for SUNW. BofA lifts it's price target to $10.

Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) $13.50 is being upgraded by UBS Warburg to "strong buy" from "hold." Firm saying that concerns over a lower level of PC server industry shipments, increased Microsoft (MSFT) competition and disappointing January sales trends have hampered the stock. Firm believes that CTXS management adequately reset the earning's bar last month to an achievable level and thinks concerns over Microsoft competition are overdone. UBS set an initial price target of $25 for the shares.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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