The story of the week is the dollar's stabilization and the consequent stall in the stock market.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the ECB will gradually withdraw emergency cash.
Options expiration day.
1) Dell: did Dell screw up, or did the analyst community screw up? Dell down over 6 percent this morning in pre-open trading, was below expectations, but the Street has been raising estimates for months. Those few analysts who have been more cautious, like Richard Gardner at Citi, are feeling a bit vindicated. Gardner wrote in a note to clients this morning: "We note that street expectations had remained stubbornly high despite evidence of continued near-term challenges in corporate PC demand, and efforts by Dell to reduce exposure to low-margin consumer products."
Margins were lower than expected due to higher costs for components, and it may not get a lot better. The holiday season always has a higher mix of lower-margin consumer business.
2) Home builder DR Horton trading down this morning reported a greater loss than expected. However, orders did rise 26 percent, more than most estimated, a trend noted with other home builders. The cancellation rate, at 27 percent, is still high by historic standards but not above the prior quarter.
3) Ann Taylor down 6 percent pre-open, reported earnings better than expected, though topline appeared a bit light. Total sales declined 12.3 percent. The company is saying fourth quarter sales will be slightly lower than the third quarter.
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