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Bracing for a weaker open

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Stock futures here in the U.S. are depicting a lower open after overseas markets experienced selling, despite an upturn in manufacturing orders in Germany for August, which surprised markets there and had European markets off their lows.

Banking stocks in overseas markets remained under pressure, building onto the sectors 8% slide as market participants factored in bad debt and economic weakness worries. Even merger and acquisition talk in the banking sector, often indicative of a bottom being formed, did little to reverse the bearish sentiment.

Asian markets were under pressure, especially technology stocks, despite some bullish comments out of Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) $13.73 CEO Craig Barrett at an industry conference in Spain. Barrett said he expected to see conditions improve for tech firms in early 2003. "I expect the crisis to end in the early part of 2003, and in the (telecommunications) sector it will take more time, perhaps at the end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004," he said. Shares of Intel (INTC) traded higher at $13.85 in U.S. pre-market trading.

A quick look at the Asian markets has Hong Kong's Hang Seng - 1.33%, South Korea's Seoul Composite -3.6% and Japan's Nikkei-225 -3.76% at 8,688 and below the psychological 9,000 level.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 is off -1.16%, Germany's DAX -1.26%, Switzerland's Swiss Market -2.3% and United Kingdom's FTSE-100 -1.03%.

Here in the U.S., S&P futures (sp02Z) are lower by -4.1 points at 801.80. NASDAQ futures (nd02z) are down -4.5 points at 816.50 and Dow futures (dj02z) are down 30 points at 7,520.

Treasuries are seeing modest buying with the benchmark 10-year note (ty02z) futures ticking higher at 115.265 as the YIELD ($TNX.X) falls to 3.639%.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.55. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.20 and set for program selling at $-2.10. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $3.12.

Jeff Bailey

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