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Futures Looking Up On Good Economic Numbers

Futures up on several economic reports that are better than expected:

1) ADP report of gain of 65,000 jobs for December ( 40,000 private sector jobs in December + 25,000 government jobs = 65,000 total).

2) Challenger report said that planned job layoffs in U.S. fell 39 percent in December (to lowest level of the year) from November. The Challenger CEO said that "The housing slump has failed to translate into widespread job cuts outside of the financial sector. We did not even see the typical spike in fourth-quarter job cuts."

For all of 2007, layoffs fell 8.5 percent (to lowest level since 2001).

3) Initial jobless claims report a tad lighter than expected, breaking a recent trend.

Elsewhere:
State Street up 3 percent pre-open as they raised their 2007 full year guidance. Head of investment management division--William Hunt--stepping down, also establishing a $618 million reserve to cover fixed-income strategic missteps.

Ford says Tata Motors is front-runner to buy Jaguar and Land Rover. No final decision has been made, but "substantive discussions with Tata Motors" will proceed in "forthcoming weeks"

Monsanto reports Q1 earnings and sales ahead of estimates, raises full year guidance, up 4% pre-open.



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