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J.P. Morgan denies helping prop Enron numbers

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J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) $32.99, the nations second largest bank, said that allegations it conspired to make Enron Corporation's (NASDAQ:ENRNQ) $0.11 financial results look better than they were have no merit. This morning's Wall Street Journal reports that several insurance companies are charging that J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) made several structured natural gas trades with the company to make Enron's results appear stronger than they really were, in order to keep the company afloat and insure it could pay the bank back.

Gemstar falls

Shares of Gemstar-TV Guide (NASDAQ:GMST) $8.20 are falling by $3.00 to $5.20 in pre-market trading after late Friday's ruling by an administrative law judge against the company on patents it holds for interactive technology. Morgan Stanley termed the decision a "big win" for satellite broadcaster EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH) $18.94, which is trading up $1.16 to $20.10 in pre- market trading.

Vivendi Universal details debt reduction strategy

In Paris, French media giant Vivendi Universal (NYSE:V) $23.21 traded down 9% after detailing debt-reduction plans that will bring its stake in water utility Vivendi Environment to 42% by placing a 15.6% stake in the utility as well as initiating a capital increase.

While the stake reduction had been widely anticipated, but analysts say the move still hasn't improved confidence in the firm. Mark Hersee, an industry analyst with Banc of America in London said, "People are concerned about the lack of transparency at Vivendi (V), that we don't get a straight-forward asset removal" and then added "the market saw that as a sign of near- term liquidity shortage and we are seeing the extension of that today."

Stock futures lower

Some of the above news has put further darkness over investor sentiment this morning as stock futures edge lower as the opening bell approaches. S&P futures are trading down 5.2 points at 986.80, NASDAQ futures are lowery by 16.50 points at 1,025 and Dow futures are down 47.00 points at 9,220.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $1.70. That price will not change during the trading session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $3.57 and set for selling at $-0.27. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $6.00.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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