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Awaiting Earnings And All That Data

Bob Pisani is off today, this was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum

Futures were at the highs of the morning as traders await the heavy number of earnings reports and economic data beginning tomorrow and lasting through the end of the week.

The modest gains this morning came despite a heavy 2.5 percent sell-off in Asia, with Japan falling for the 9th straight day. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is now down 9 percent during that time.

Maybe we’re not out of the woods quite yet.

President Obama’s National Economic Council Director Larry Summerstold the FT that he’s skeptical the U.S. economic situation has hit a bottom. He says, “I don’t think the worst is over ... It’s very likely that more jobs will be lost. It would not be surprising if GDP has not yet reached its low.”

Elsewhere:

1) Shares of CIT fell 18 percent at the pre-open after the commercial lender revealed it was in discussions with the U.S. government on finding a solution to improve its current capital shortage. Recent reports also suggested that CIT has been exploring a possible bankruptcy filing if it can’t get any further government assistance to solve its current short-term liquidity crisis.

2) Goldman Sachs traded up 4 percent pre-open after analyst Meredith Whitney upgrades the financial to a “buy” one day before the firm reports its earnings. Pronouncing the stock as a “bull stock for a bear market,” Whitney expects Goldman to be a major debt market player.

Whitney also raises her earnings estimates for Goldman to $4.65/share, above the street’s consensus forecast of $3.48.

3) Conglomerate Philips Electronics was up 5 percent at the pre-open after it beat estimates helped by the company’s cost cuts and improving margins at its healthcare unit. Looking ahead, the firm remains cautious, but expects some more improvement in the second half of the year as it hinted that emerging markets may be bottoming out.

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