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Higher open as New York Fed data improved

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Traders are looking at a higher open for stocks this morning after an encouraging manufacturing report from the New York region showed conditions in the factory sector improved in June.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State index of manufacturing conditions rose to a record 26.8 from 10.6 in May, with readings above zero showing growth in the manufacturing sector.

Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) $28.72 are gaining $1.00 (+3.4%) after announcing a marketing alliance with UK broadband service provider BT Group (NYSE:BTY) $32.00. The venture called BT Yahoo Broadband, will replace its Openworld brand. BT Group is taking aim on rivals AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) $15.55 and Freeserve.

Direct lender E-Loan (NASDAQ:EELN) $5.46 are gaining $0.84 (+15%) to $6.30 after raising its targets for the second quarter and full year 2003, saying it expects 25-30% revenue growth in the second quarter from its diversified products, which includes purchase and non-prime mortgage, home equity and auto loans.

S&P futures have been building gains since the release of the Empire State Index on manufacturing with S&P futures (sp03u) higher by 4 points at 992.50. NASDAQ futures (nd03u) are gaining 7 points at 1,217, while Dow futures (dj03u) are higher by 30 points at 91.38.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-1.19. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.06 and set for program selling at $-2.36.

When reviewing this past weeks sector bullish % data from Dorsey/Wright and Associates, I noticed that their precious metals sector bullish % (BPPREC) reversed back lower into "bear confirmed" status after Randgold Resources (NASDAQ:GOLD) $17.73 gave a double-bottom sell signal at $16.50. While this sector bullish % is relatively narrow and only takes 2 stocks giving buy/sell signals to swing the sector bullish % status, I'm using the reversal back lower to trim positions back to MAXIMUM 1/2 from prior weeks more bullish sector comments. Randgold (GOLD) remains in upward trend on its PnF chart and is not a component of the weighted Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 78.31 or unweighted AMEX Gold Bugs Index ($HUI.X) 149.20.

Foreign Markets

Japan's Nikkei 225 ended its 3-session winning streak on fears that weakening consumer confidence in the U.S. could hurt exports from Japan. Shares of Sony, which trade as an American Depository Receipt in the U.S. (NYSE:SNE) $29.00 fell 2.3% at 3,400 yen.

European markets were fractionally higher across the board. UK- based BT Group (NYSE:BTY) $32.00 rose 2.6% after announcing a joint venture with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) $28.72 to offer broadband Internet services. BT Group said it was targeting 5 million customers by 2,006, which would equate to 1 billion pound of profitable revenue annually.

Asia/Pacific

Hong Kong.......Hang Seng.........9,862.....+6.64..+0.07%

Japan...........Nikkei 225........8,839...-140.81..-1.57%

Taiwan..........Taiwan Weighted...4,892....+10.46..+0.21%

Europe

France..........CAC 40............3,129....+20.78..+0.67%

Germany.........DAX...............3,188....+20.00..+0.63%

Switzerland.....Swiss Market......4,830....+35.80..+0.75%

United Kingdom..FTSE 100..........4,141.....+7.70..+0.19%

Jeff Bailey

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