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Morning Outlook

Stocks Seeking an Elusive 'Up' Day

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Investors are still questioning whether Greece will stay in the eurozone. Those worries, plus the rising cost of insuring Spanish and Italian debt, pushed U.S. stocks down 1% across the board yesterday.

Stocks tried to get out of the gutter in mid-day trading, but wound up re-testing earlier lows at the closing bell.

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The Dow opens today’s session at 12695.35, with futures this morning pointing significantly higher.

Investors are getting some relief from Germany, which returned to growth in the first quarter, as GDP registered a 0.5% growth pace.

As the Facebook IPO approaches, the company is apparently worth more money. The social network raised the price range for its IPO to $34 to $38 a share, from $28 to $35 a share. The higher end would value Facebook at more than $104 billion.

Despite the rising target price, a new poll finds that half of Americans surveyed think Facebook is a passing fad, while another half say the expected asking price is too high.

Facebook’s stock will price Thursday evening and retail investors won’t get access until Friday morning, when the stock starts trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “FB.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon can’t seem to get out of the spotlight.  The high-profile CEO of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will attend the bank’s annual meeting in Tampa today, and no doubt will be grilled by shareholders about the firm’s recent $2 billion trading loss.

Since Dimon unveiled the blunder Thursday night, some $20 billion in stock market value has been wiped from JPMorgan, and the bank’s investment chief, Ina Drew, has lost her job.

While some investors and participants at the meeting may be calling for the dismissal of Dimon as well, many more are unlikely to do so.  For them, facing the crisis without Dimon might be a bigger nightmare than the trading loss itself.  Dimon took JPMorgan out of the financial crisis relatively unscathed, and he has a stellar reputation on Wall Street as an executive who can manage risk and turn a profit.

JPMorgan is meeting in Tampa because the bank is rapidly expanding in that region.

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