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Flat open ahead

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Traders are looking at a flat open this morning as S&P futures (sp02z) trade fractionally higher at 902.70, while NASDAQ futures (nd02z) trade down 1/2 point at 1,029 and Dow futures (dj02z) edge up 16 points at 8,590.

Most actively traded has shares of NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) $14.55 pulling back from its recent highs at $12.74 (-12% from close) after the company reported Q3 EPS of $0.09, which beat estimates by 2-cents, but said Q4 (Jan) EPS are expected to be relatively flat with Q3 and gross margins would be thin at 26-30%. NVDA's EPS guidance was below current consensus as analysts were looking for the company to earn $0.12 a share.

Shares of wireless technology provider Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) $34.94 are holding overnight gains at $36.30 (+3.8 from close) after the company reported Q4 pro forma EPS of $0.31, $0.04 better than consensus estimates. The company said revenues were $839.7 million versus consensus of $809.6 million and that it expects Q1 EPS of $0.35-$0.38 and revenues to grow 15-22% sequentially, or about $965.7 million-$1.02 billion (consensus $0.29 and $840.3 million), and expects FY03 EPS of $1.15-$1.20 and revenues to grow 19-23%, or about $3.46-$3.58 billion (consensus $1.09 and $3.25 billion).

Shares of Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC) $27.95 continue to plummet lower at $16.98 (-39% from close) after the company announced last night the retirement of COO Thomas B. Mackey and resignation of CFO David L. Dennis. The company said it continues to expect 2003 EPS growth of at least 25% over 2002 figure of $2.34, implying EPS of at least $2.93 (consensus $2.97). Says actions taken to form a new management team and to take a fresh look at pricing are not a signal that its fundamental strategy is flawed or the result of any impropriety.

The U.S. dollar was in danger of extending its losing streak versus the euro to eight sessions, losing 0.1% to $1.0093. Earlier in the session, one euro bought as much as $1.0136, a level not seen since July 19. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.6% to 120.40, the lowest price seen since September 12. The dollar has lost ground versus the yen in 11 of the last 12 sessions. David Gilmore, partner at Foreign Exchange Analytics, said the risk of a dollar collapse is rising, as the larger-than- expected interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday "stirred serious concerns among investors fearing the dreaded deflation scenario."

A quick look at the gold markets has the December Gold futures contract (gc02z) $323.10 +0.68% breaking above $320 resistance with September's $330 and contract highs of 334 in play.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.22. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $2.02 and set for program selling at $-1.72. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $1.95.

Jeff Bailey

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