Stock futures have done an about-face after last night's plethora of earnings that had stock futures looking lower. Today's a new day though and futures have turned higher with S&P futures trading up 3.5 points at 1,226.50. NASDAQ futures are higher by 21.5 points at 1,409 and Dow futures are gaining 50 points at 10,225.
Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $1.40. That price will not change during the day. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $2.52 and set for selling at $0.34. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $5.88
After last night's confusion regarding Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) $56.37 earnings report, the stock is getting a lift in today's pre-market action at $57.00 after Merrill Lynch and First Albany upgraded the stock.
Merrill told clients "we believe money flows will favor MSFT in sector recovery, as other large caps struggle" and set a $65 price target on the stock, the top of the stock's recent trading range. Merrill did cut MSFT's fiscal 2002 earnings per share estimate to $1.84 from $1.88 and lowered fiscal 2003 to $1.92 from $1.95 amid Xbox weakness.
I (Jeff Bailey) would caution any investor/trader from reading too much into Merrill's call based on "stock is a good investment because money will rotate to it." I was looking at past broker upgrades on MSFT and saw where Pacific Crest downgraded MSFT back on January 18th (good call by the way at/near $67), but then made a bullish comment on MSFT on March 4th at/near $62 with the thought that MSFT could benefit from rotation out of Oracle (ORCL). Shares of MSFT then proceeded to fall to the recent mid- $50 levels.
Shares of Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) $42.94 are bid higher in pre- market action at $43.50 after Morgan Stanley termed XLNX's 20% growth in sales over the December quarter "a blow-out quarter.... We expect a stronger economy, a resumption of sequential revenue growth for the semiconductor industry in the second quarter, and increasing margins to drive the average semiconductor stock higher," said Morgan's Mark Edelstone.