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1. High-End Retailers

By Jim Cramer
7:17 a.m. EST

After bringing

Dollar General

(DG) - Get Report

, Goldman recommends



to go with

Polo Ralph Lauren

(RL) - Get Report

from last week. ... I continue to think the high-end retailers can go higher. Prefer RL.

Positions: None

2. Morning Prep

By Ken Wolff
8:46 a.m. EST


PowerShares QQQ


is trading up this morning after another good day for the bulls on Friday. ... Thursday's trading gave me a signal that the market was heading south, but on Friday the buyers came back in a drove the market up. ... We may be in for a battle today as the bulls try to take us up. ... I will be looking for another round of early buying after maybe a dime of selling at the open. ... If we dip under QQQQ 44 this morning, then we will probably repeat last Thursday's action and end down. ... If we climb early, 50 cents will be about where I will consider shorting...

Positions: None

3. Food Prices

By Sham Gad
9:40 a.m. EST

An important message was delivered by Jacques Diouf, who heads the U.N.'s Food and Ag Organization (FAO). It's a simple but profound message: The economic revival is setting a stage for another period of rising food prices.

The interesting thing is, revival or not, food scarcity will always be an issue as long as arable land decreases and populations increase. And unlike many industry fundamentals that have changed as a result of the global recession, global food supplies continue to face the same structural problems, namely lack in infrastructure spending. As readers of my columns know, I'm a big fan on the fertilizer industry, namely


(MOS) - Get Report




. News like only strengthens the long-term prosperity of this industry.

Positions: Long MOS and POT

4. Game On!

By Rick Bensignor
9:50 a.m. EST

We've been prepping

Top Gun Trader

and institutional clients for a week that, depending upon if and how the December S&P futures closed above 1097, could see the bull case increase. The next upside target, despite a slew of technical resistance levels (including 1109 in the cash SPX -- where the downtrend line from the all-time highs comes in), would be SPZ9 1140.

So a close today above 1098.70 -- today's opening print in the pit SPZ9 session -- helps lay the foundation for this further up-move to occur.

Positions: Long SPY

5. Retail Sales September Revision May Mean Q3 GDP Rethink

By Michael McDonough
10:20 a.m. EST

As I mentioned in my look at the

week ahead

, retail sales would likely set the pace for the week, and we received the data this morning. Retail sales rose +1.4% in October, compared with a revised -2.3% change in September (originally -1.5%). This was well above the latest Bloomberg consensus forecast of +0.9%, however, this good news was at least partially offset by the prior month's revisions.

Retail sales ex-autos climbed only +0.2% during the month, after rising a revised +0.4% in September (previously reported +0.5%). This was below the Bloomberg consensus forecast of +0.4%.

The good news is that the ex-autos index has gradually continued to trend higher since its collapse the end of last year. The not-so-good news is that most all of October's gains came from auto sales, which were recovering from a sharp drop in September caused by the expiration of the U.S. government's Cash for Clunkers program. It is very unlikely this type of increment will be sustained.

Additionally, the downward revision to past sales data will likely cause third quarter 2009 GDP to be revised down 0.1%, which, combined with last week's wider-than-anticipated trade deficit, should lower third-quarter 2009 GDP to 3.0% from the 3.5% indicated by the advanced estimate.

This article was written by a staff member of