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By: Brendan Gilmartin

Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) are scheduled to report monthly sales on Thursday, January 31.

Summary: Overall, the major manufacturers are seen posting solid year over year comparisons, with Edmunds.com suggesting that January sales remained upbeat even as advertising tapered off since the holidays and the replacement cycle after Superstorm Sandy faded in the Northeast. A report on TrueCar.com also reinforced 2013 is off to a strong start with momentum expected to build through the year. Despite the passage of the December holiday selling period, Kelley Blue Book also points out there remain incentives from dealers that should help boost January sales.

Ford MotorExpected Release Time: 9:30 a.m. EST

Overview: Ford shares have been breaking out in recent months, benefiting from a solid fourth quarter, whereby the company posted its highest pre-tax profit in more than a decade, thanks in part to record performance in the North American region.

Estimates

TrueCar.com:18.5% (Source: Truecar.com)

Edmunds.com: 20.6% (Source: Edmunds.com)

Kelley Blue Book:15.9%(Source: KBB.com)

Technical Review: Ford shares recently touched the highest level since June 2011, benefiting from an improving macroeconomic backdrop. But shares slipped on 1/29, despite a positive earnings release, implying that buyers are somewhat fatigued. Should sales for January prove disappointing (<10%), there is downside risk to support at $11.50. Resistance is at the recent peak near $14.00. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

General Motors Expected Release Time: 10:00 a.m. EST

Overview: General Motors shares recently broke out to a 52-week high of $30.68 on January 15. Contributing to the advance includes the Treasury's exit from its ownership stake in GM, improving free cash flow, and a recovery in Europe. A pickup in activity in North America thanks to an improved spending backdrop also has the Street looking for a solid January comp.

Estimates

TrueCar.com:13.5% (Source: Truecar.com)

Edmunds.com: 16.3% (Source: Edmunds.com)

Kelley Blue Book:7.2% (Source: KBB.com)

Technical Review: GM shares are coming off a 52-week high of $30.68 ahead of January sales. Should the momentum fade, there is downside risk to the 50-day SMA near $27.00, followed by $26.00. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

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Source: Ford And GM Seen Posting Strong January Sales, But Recent Gains Look Priced In