The Day Ahead: Full Speed Ahead

 | Jan 06, 2014 | 8:30 AM EST
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U.S. equities were trending higher in the premarket Monday morning as the first full week of trading in 2014 got under way.

Asian markets closed sharply lower overnight, led by a more-than-2% selloff in Japan's Nikkei 225 index. And European exchanges were lower on lukewarm purchasing managers index data for the eurozone and on signs of slowing growth in China.

February gold was little changed at just over $1,238 per ounce, while February crude oil broke above $94 per barrel. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose by 0.34% to 2.9950.

The Institute for Supply Management will release its non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect a reading of 54.5 in December, up from 53.9 the previous month. At the same time, November factory orders from the Census Bureau are expected to rise by 1.7%, compared with a 0.9% decline in August.

Minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting are expected Wednesday. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to confirm Janet Yellen's confirmation as the first female chair of the central bank after both houses reconvene this week following the holiday break. Congress is also considering an extension of unemployment benefits, which expired in December.

In company news, Men's Wearhouse (MW) stepped up its attempt to buy rival Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) by making a $1.6 billion tender offer to shareholders. Liberty Media (LMCA) has offered to buy up the remaining stake in satellite-radio operator Sirius XM (SIRI), sending both shares higher in premarket trading.

Among analyst actions, drugmakers Abbott (ABT) and Boston Scientific (BSX) were upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley. The firm also cut online auctioneer eBay (EBAY) to Equal Weight and social-media platform Twitter (TWTR) to Underweight.

Credit Suisse lifted insurer AIG (AIG) to Outperform, while UBS downgraded MetLife (MET) to Neutral.

UBS also raised its price target for Google (GOOG), an Action Alerts PLUS holding, to $1,300 from $1,100.

Finally, Citigroup analysts upgraded two casinos, MGM Resorts (MGM) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN), to Buy ratings.

Columnist Conversations

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I reached out last week to my close friend Ken Shreve, who is a prominent writer for the IBD.  I asked Ke...
I reached out last week to my close friend Ken Shreve, who is a prominent writer for the IBD.  I asked Ke...



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