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The video this transcript is based on appeared on December 19.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Darden Restaurants reports quarterly results before the bell Thursday. Nike and Carnival Cruise Lines are also set to report. TheStreet's Jim Cramer makes a taper play.


Good morning from the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Today is Thursday, December 19th, I'm John Marino for TheStreet. One quick breaking out in right now, Facebook is starting the day down about five points I'm told as Mark Zuckerberg is readying a stake sale of more than two billion dollars worth of stock. Now
this hour US futures are down slightly as after-markets roared back to life in a positive response to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's decision to begin tapering its bond-buying program.

And overseas markets also soared as investors took the taper decision in stride. Taking a look at specific indices right now, the FTSE is up about a point midday, the DAX 100 about one and four tenths points midday. Midday for the CAC 40 up one and a third points, and the Nikkei once again posting a strong close and a new high, up 1.7 percent.

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Getting us started here on the Nasdaq wall, Darden Restaurants is off to a big start this morning up about two points heading into the open.  The operating dining franchises including Olive Garden is set to report earnings before the bell this morning and expectations are for twenty cents per share, that's compared to earnings of 26 cents a share this time last year. Darden stock is already about eighteen percent so far this year.

And also set to report earnings today is Nike, the stock is up about 52 percent so far this year. Expectations are for fifty eight cents a share compared to fifty seven cents a share this time last year. Jim Cramer is a recent buyer of Nike stock. Numbers are coming out this afternoon after the close.

And another stock to watch today is Carnival Corp. Carnival had a rough year to start with when one of its ships spent days stranded on the Gulf of Mexico and the stock is up less than a point in 2013. Earnings are coming out this morning and Carnival is expected report a break-even quarter compared to earnings of 13 cents a share this time last year.

Our Action Alerts pick coming from Jim Cramer this morning is Emerson Electric. This is a long term taper play for Jim, doesn't see the bond market pricing in a pullback anytime soon. Cramer saying he views the dovish Fed forecast as positive for any non-residential construction. He's again buying to Emerson. Shares here up about 20 percent so far this year.

That's a wrap for us but be sure to track breaking news and analysis all day at We'll also have Cinta's earnings after the close today. I'm John Marino, have a great day.

Written by Jon Marino in New York.