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Shortened trading week starts with futures higher

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What tends to be a more bullish trading week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday finds stock futures edging higher in the early going with S&P futures (sp02z) gaining 1.6 points to 930.40, NASDAQ futures (nd02z) edging up 5.5 points at 1,122 and Dow futures (dj02z) rising by 14 points at 8,8810.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.13. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.72 and set for selling at $-1.23. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $1.45.

Stock futures are off their best levels of the morning, partly due to a downgrade of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $14.89 by UBS Warburg to "hold" from "buy" on valuation. While that squalled a slightly more bullish broader technology tone earlier this morning, shares of Cisco are still edging up 17 cents at $15.06 in the pre-market trade.

On a positive note, Deutsche upgraded shares of Cooper Tire (NYSE:CTB) $14.13 to "buy" from "hold," saying they are increasingly confident in CTB's earnings and cash flow outlook and that CTB stands to benefit from tire industry price increases, moderating raw material prices, and reversion to trend growth in the North American replacement tire market. Share of CTB are gaining 47 cents to $14.60 over the New York ENCs.

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) $62.25 are down $1.23 over Instinet trading after Deutsche lowered its rating on the stock to "hold" from "buy," citing a modest outlook for debt underwriting and trading activity in 2003, which makes the stock somewhat vulnerable based on Deutsche's valuation model.

Provider of electricity and natural gas services TXU Corp. (NYSE:TXU) $16.14 is sliding $1.39, or 8.6% after it said it would offer 28 million shares of newly issued common stock. The company also said it was "unable" to provide fourth quarter or 2003 earnings outlook, given that it has not completed its formal planning process.

Shares of Computer Associates (NYSE:CA) $14.82 are edging lower at $14.45 over the ECNs after the Wall Street Journal reports that Federal officials are investigating claims from some former employees who say the company backdated and forward-dated customer transactions to shift revenue in order to meet earning's targets.

Jeff Bailey

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