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Waiting for some confidence

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Stock futures are edging lower prior to this morning's opening bell as investors await today's 10:00 AM EST monthly update for Conference Board's consumer confidence survey.

Shares of AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) $14.68 are edging up 15 cents to $14.83 over the Redibook ECN, on a report that Chairman Steve Case is floating a spin-off of the Internet AOL division to take it back. The Wall Street Journal cited people who have recently overheard Case, but added that it isn't clear other executives are taking it seriously.

Telecom services provider Qwest Communications (NYSE:Q) $3.46 fell 61 cents, or 17% to $2.85 over the New York ECNs after the company said last night that it will reduce the value of its network and assets by up to $40.8 billion and erase an additional $531 million in questionable sales.

Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) $3.58 is seeing its stock jump 64% to $5.90 in pre-market action after the company announced late yesterday that it had entered into a drug development pact with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) $38.50. As part of the pact, Glaxo will make an upfront payment of $30 million to Exelixis and will acquire 2 million newly issued Exelixis common stock at $7 per share.

Oil giant British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) $39.45 fell 6.6% in overseas trading after reporting Q3 results and said it expected hydrocarbon production for 2002 to be about 3% higher on a year ago basis, but down from the previous estimate of 4% growth. At the beginning of September, BP initially cut its 2002 forecast to between 4.5% and 5% from 5.5%. Recent comments from BP regarding productions cuts have sent the stock spiraling lower from the $48 level.

Oxford Health (NYSE:OHP) $40.37 edged up 2 cents to $40.39 after reporting Q3 earnings this morning of $1.04, which was 2 cents better than consensus. The company said revenues rose 14.6% year-over-year to $1.27 billion versus the $1.25 billion consensus.

Stock futures are edging lower with S&P futures (sp02z) down 3 points at 888.80. NASDAQ futures (nd02z) are off 5.5 points at 981.50 and Dow futures (dj02z) are lower by 33 points at 8,345.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.28. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.25 and set for program selling at $-2.02. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $2.40.

Jeff Bailey

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