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Stocks drift lower in pre-market

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Stocks futures are fractionally lower this morning as S&P futures (sp02z) edge lower by -1.9 points at 889.50, while NASDAQ futures (nd02z) trade off -1.50 points at 1,007.50 and Dow futures (dj02z) 8,475 slip lower by -20.00 points.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.21. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $2.01 and set for program selling at $-1.68. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $1.92.

The euro was holding above parity with the greenback at $1.015, having popped to a three month high vs. the European currency after the US. Federal Reserve cut interest rates and its European counterparts did not late last week.

The bond market is closed in the U.S. today for Veteran's Day observance, while war worries remain in equities.

The U.N. Security Council's unanimous support for the U.S. resolution on Friday bounces the fractious arms inspections issue back to Iraq, with an answer expected by Friday.

"We suspect that Saddam's tactic will be to admit the inspectors and then hamper effective inspections. In the best case, that means that a military response will not happen before the end of February," Nomura Securities in London said this morning.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) $25.10 was down 3 cents in overseas trading at $25.07 and unchanged in London. Over the weekend, Bloomberg reported that Warren Buffett is considering acquiring GE's Employers Reinsurance unit. The noted "value investor" is apparently balking at the $8 billion price tag.

Software maker Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) $9.55 is trading down 31 cents at $9.24 amid some negative broker comments on the heels of changes to the company's North American sales force. Investors attribute the further restructuring to a difficult sales environment brought on by slower IT spending from Oracle's customers.

UBS Warburg told clients it expects more changes are likely to the Oracle sales team, but announcements may wait until after the quarter. "There is never a good time for changes in the sales force but this close to the end of the quarter (November 30) is probably one of the worst times," UBS said. "Just last quarter, management cited the changes that were made in the sales force in Europe as one of the reasons that sales came up short for the quarter in Europe."

Jeff Bailey

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