Friday, June 04, 2004

Friday Watch


None of note.

Economic Data
Unemployment Rate for May is estimated at 5.6% versus 5.6% in April.
Average Hourly Earnings for May estimated +.2% versus +.3% in April.
Change in Non-farm Payrolls for May estimated at 225K versus 288K in April.
Change in Manufacturing Payrolls for May estimated at 20K versus 21K in April.
Average Weekly Hours for May estimated at 33.8 versus 33.7 in April.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BSX, NKE and SRE. Goldman reiterated Underperform on PSS. Goldman said to Buy FLEX after mid-quarter update, sees 20%+ upside. Goldman said INTC's comments on mid-quarter update bode well for second half of year. Staples is benefiting from the growing economy and continues to increase its market share in the office-supplies business, Business Week reported. Shares of Trend Micro, the world's third-largest maker of anti-virus software, may extend their gains as computer virus attacks lift sales of the Japanese company's PC-cillin and Network VirusWall programs, Bloomberg reported.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are higher after a fall in energy prices and an optimistic outlook from Intel boosted investments in technology shares in the region. Pakistan and India agreed to avoid public comments that may hinder their efforts to move the peace process forward between the South Asian neighbors, Reuters reported. Merrill Lynch, dissatisfied with a $513 billion asset-management business that is a third less profitable than independent fund managers, may sell a stake in the unit or seek to expand it, Bloomberg said. New York crude oil futures are likely to fall next week after OPEC agreed to increase production quotas by the most in more than six years, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and analysts. Nestle SA, is considering a bid for General Mills to add brands such as Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker dessert mixes, Bloomberg reported. Citigroup will start offering life insurance products in China next year after gaining regulatory approval to start a venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment, Bloomberg reported. Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhilliops and Marathon Oil aren't ready to boost exploration budgets they set last year because previous market surges have been followed by plunges. Price drops averaging 54% followed the five biggest rallies in crude oil over the past two decades, Bloomberg reported. President Bush's visit to Rome Friday may disrupt transportation as 10,000 police and soldiers guard against terrorist attacks, Bloomberg said.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices unch. to +1.0% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.22%.
NASDAQ indicated +.42%.

BOTTOM LINE: As I stated below in the Thursday Close, U.S. stocks will likely open modestly lower in the morning as an above-expectations jobs report sends interest rates higher. However, I will add market exposure into any excessive weakness in anticipation of a rally later in the day. High levels of investor anxiety heading into tomorrow, falling oil prices, Intel's strong comments and the recent positive shift in investor psychology leads me to believe that tomorrow's numbers will provide the catalyst to send shares higher by day's end.

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