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Motorola's warning has stock futures lower

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Traders are looking at a lower open for stocks as an earnings warning from Motorola (NYSE:MOT) $8.89 that the outbreak of SARS and excess inventories led to lower than anticipated handset sales in Asia, will weigh on quarterly results, sets a negative tone for today's open here in the U.S.

Motorola's (MOT) shares are falling 5.8% to $8.37 over the New York ECN as the company now expects to see breakeven results for its June quarter, excluding one-time charges, versus prior projections of EPS for $0.03 to $0.05. MOT said revenues for the period is now expected to be $6 billion to $6.2 billion, down from prior forecast of $6.4 to $6.6 billion.

S&P futures (sp03m) are lower by 4.4 points at 983.40. NASDAQ futures (nd03m) are down 6 points at 1,207, while Dow futures (dj03m) are off 25 points at 9,030.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.05. That price will not change during the day. HL Camp and company has their computers set for program buying at $1.21 and set for program selling at $-1.06. Fair value for the NSDAQ-100 today is $0.95.

Shares of Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) $5.20 are this morning's most actively traded and are rising 3.8% to $5.40 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the company's shares to "inline" from "underperform," saying demand looks to be stabilizing and the stock appears attractive based on valuation. Goldman Sachs said there are signs that some of SUNW's key end markets have bottomed and the company is likely to see seasonal patterns that are closer to normal which, coupled with SUNW's relatively low valuation, should cause the stock to track it peers.

In merger/acquisition news, General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) $68.61 said it plans to acquire Veridian (NYSE:VNX) $27.35 for $35 a share in cash. General Dynamics will also assume $270 in debt, bringing the total transaction to $1.5 billion. General Dynamics sees the transaction being accretive to earnings.

Foreign Markets

Strength in banks helped boost Japan's Nikkei 225 to a 6-month high, while positive comment out of Sony (NYSE:SNE) $29.50 that it expects a recovery in the world economy in 2004 and bring and end to Japan's deflation helped boost the stock 2.3%, or 3,550 yen.

Telecom stocks weighed on European markets with UK mobile phone giant Vodafone down 2.1% and rival mm02 lower by 2.5% after Motorola lowered its estimates.

Asia/Pacific

Hong Kong.......Hang Seng.........9,733....+38.88..+0.40%

Japan...........Nikkei 225........8,822....+36.86..+0.42%

Taiwan..........Taiwan Weighted...4,826....+86.49..+1.82%

Europe

France..........CAC 40............3,058....-35.16..-1.14%

Germany.........DAX...............3,088....-38.99..-1.25%

Russia..........Moscow Times......5,591....+26.14..+0.47%

Switzerland.....Swiss Market......4,786....+80.10..+1.70%

United Kingdom..FTSE 100..........4,115....-35.40..-0.85%

Jeff Bailey

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