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Orexigen (OREX) Up 125% Before the Bell

|Includes:MMM, OREX, Vivus, Inc. (VVUS)
9:15am

There was a bull stampede that started on Tuesday's open as the market ran higher to start the session on news the Bush tax cuts were going to be extended.  However, the bears were the first to cross the finish line after the Democrats waffled on signing off on the cuts while in the same breath saying there was more work to do.

Against this uncertainty, the bulls failed to hold the momentum that had been so strong at the start but the good news is the breakout is intact.  All three of the major averages we follow finished flat but not before touching fresh two-year highs.

The Dow fell 3 points to close at 11,359.  We mentioned 3M's (MMM, $84.19, down $2.69) downbeat forecast yesterday which accounted for 20 points to the negative for the index.   The blue-chips traded to a high of 11,450 but the late day shenanigans pushed the Dow below our 11,400 closing target.  Support is at 11,200-11,000.

The S&P 500 gained a point and settled at 1,223 but surged to a high of 1,235.  We were looking for a close above 1,230 but the breakout confirmed we should trend to 1,250 over the near-term.  Support is 1,200.

The Nasdaq added 3 points and finished at 2,598 but rallied to 2,623 before finishing just below our 2,600 target once again.  We still feel a run to 2,700 is still possible with an outside shot at 3,000.  The bears are focused on getting Tech back down below 2,500.

Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX, $4.67, HALTED) is going to have a huge open this morning after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel recommended approval for Contrave, a weight loss drug that will help fight the battle against obesity.

We first profiled Orexigen, along with Vivus (VVUS, $7.80, up $0.75) in early 2008 and we have been keeping track of these two companies ever since.  Long time subscribers know we tend to favor Vivus more because we think their “diet” drug, Qnexa, is safer and has less side effects. Vivus also has a stronger pipeline.Look for both stocks to hit double-digits today as Orexigen is trading at $11+ in pre-market while Vivus is pushing $10.

Futures are pointing towards a slightly higher open this morning. Dow futures are up 6, S&P 500 futures are up 2 while the Nasdaq 100 futures are higher by 7 points.

We have a ton of information to cover in our Members Area this morning, including our thoughts on Research In Motion (RIMM, $62.12, down $1.21), which we added to our Watch List this morning. Subscribers, check for the updates.




 
Stocks: VVUS, OREX, MMM