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Stock futures point to lower open

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Stock futures are pointing to a lower open this morning as S&P futures (sp02u) trade down 9.3 point at 896.40, NASDAQ futures are off 14 points at 935.00 and Dow futures are down 70 points at 8,625.00.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.62. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $2.10 and set for selling at $-1.80. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $2.25.

According to HL Camp & Company, buy programs were 50.81% of the total program trading volume, while sell programs were 49.19% of total program trading during the July 29 to August 2 period (last week).

Treasuries are lower across the board and looks as if some money is easing back toward bonds. Per last night's market wrap at premierinvestor.net, the YIELD on the benchmark 10-year Treasury has been bouncing back and forth the 4.365% YIELD level this morning, with early trading at a YIELD of 4.381% here. This perhaps hints of some uncertainty and indecision which may have come from this morning's productivity report.

The Labor Department said that U.S. productivity rose 1.1% in the second quarter, which was slightly better than economists forecast for a 0.5% gain. The modest rise marks the weakest increase in workplace efficiency in a year.

In the first three months of the year, productivity rose 8.6%, which was revised slightly higher than the preliminary 8.4%.

Second quarter's rise in productivity came as workers clocked fewer hours, down 0.7%, while output increased 0.5%.

Real hourly compensation, which accounts for inflation, rose just 0.2%, but unit labor costs still rose for companies, which thanks to an anemic economy, have been unable to raise prices for some time. Unit labor costs rose 2.4%.

In the factory sector, productivity was up a strong 4.9%, after jumping 9.7% in the first quarter. Hours on the assembly line were down 0.8%, yet output increased 4.1%. Unit labor costs for manufacturers fell 1.8% in the second quarter.

Oil stocks may be under pressure today

Oil stocks may be under some selling pressure today after this morning's International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global demand growth in 2002 by 50,000 barrels per day to 200,000. Shares of BP (NYSE:BP), which closed at $47.56 here in the U.S., were down 2% in Londong, while Royal Dutch (NYSE:RD) $45.65, traded lower by 2% in Amsterdam.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor


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