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Equity Futures Creep Higher

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Following last Friday's mega rally, equity futures were slightly higher in Monday's pre-market session. Oracle's (NASDAQ:ORCL) warning last Friday after the bell appeared to be an isolated incident insofar as the broader equity market was concerned. Nevertheless, traders might do well to monitor the action in the broader Software Sector (GSO.X) today. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) may serve as a barometer for the broader group in the wake of Oracle's disappointment. Shares of Oracle were about $2 lower from their Friday close in the morning session.

Yahoooo!

CIBC World Markets upgraded shares of Internet portal Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to a buy from a hold, setting a 12 month price target of $21. Analysts from the brokerage firm raised their 2002 forecasts, which now call for $911.7 million in revenue and pro forma earnings of 13 cents per share. The firm believes that Yahoo will earn diversified revenue through its Internet access and online recruitment moves. Finally, analysts believe that the online ad market has stabilized. Shares of Yahoo were about 40 cents higher in the early session.

Rising Sun

Japanese stocks finished higher for the fourth consecutive session. The Nikkei Average finished 5.9 percent higher Monday, closing at its highest level in six months.

Across the Atlantic

European averages were comfortably higher going into the U.S. open. Strength in tech and telecom stocks lifted the major averages.

Bonds

U.S. Treasuries were off by a measurable amount again this Morning, following last Friday's sell-off. The benchmark 10-year yield (TNX.X) was higher to 5.036 percent. Today is a pivotal day for the bond market, which we'll focus on throughout the day.

Eric Utley
Option Investor

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