Despite great concern about a double dip (which seems unlikely to materialize), the S&P 500 has been sitting at the top end of its recent trading range and seems poised to break out to a 4-month high.
Lennar , which was up 5 percent pre-open, bucked a trend among home builders by reporting earnings much better than expected — $0.16 vs. consensus of $0.04, revenues at $825 million were also far better than expected (about $765 million).
This is impressive, but bear in mind that new orders were still down 15 percent compared to the same period last year, and fell 17 percent compared to the prior quarter. This is not as bad as some other builders, but it is still pretty poor.
1) Cooper Industries raises its outlook for the third quarter. The maker of electrical products (light fixtures, circuit protection equipment, etc.) now lifts its earnings guidance to $0.82-$0.85 vs. $0.80 consensus and raises its revenue growth target to up 6 percent-8 percent.
2) Tech deals continue: IBM announced it will buy data storage firm Netezza for $1.7 billion in cash, in a deal that's expected to close in the fourth quarter. Netezza shareholders will get $27 per share, a 10 percent premium from Friday's close.
Might another tech bidding war ensue? Traders seem to think so — Netezza trades up 13 percent pre-open, nearly a dollar more than IBM's offer price.
3) Fitch reaffirms its AAA rating of Germany's long-term debt. In doing so, the ratings agency boosts its 2010 GDP forecast for the country from 1.6 percent to 3.6 percent. It points out that the country's economic recovery "has taken a clear 'V' shape" following a 4.7 percent contraction in GDP last year.
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