Friday, June 25, 2004

Friday Watch

Earnings of Note
None of note.

WCN 3-for-2

Economic Data
Final Gross Domestic Product for 1Q estimated +4.4% versus +4.4% prior.
Final Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence reading for June estimated at 95.0 versus 95.2 prior.
Existing Home Sales for May estimated at 6.5M versus 6.64M in April.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BSX, PAYX, IR, ETN, AMGN and TYC. Goldman reiterated Underperform on DCLK. ASH shares may benefit from the sale of the company's stake in Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Business Week reported. ACAP's business is improving as the insurer raises premiums and its underwriting losses are falling, Business Week reported.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly higher, led by Korean cyclicals after the country's largest steelmaker said it is raising prices. Iraqi intelligence agents sought al-Qaeda's help against Saudi Arabia in the mid-90's, the NY Times reported. Three unidentified gunmen shot dead Air France's top executive in Haiti, Agence France-Presse said. R.H. Donnelley(RHD), which publishes Yellow Pages directories, may grow by acting as a local advertising sales agent for large online companies, Business Week reported. Avon Products forecasts its sales in China will rise by half this year as the government lifts its ban on direct selling, the China Daily reported. California may face another energy crisis this summer when temperatures rise as new power-plant construction slows, older plants are shut down and electricity demand accelerates as the economy recovers, Business Week said. New shipping security rules due to be implemented next week could disrupt world trade as many ships and ports still haven't complied with the regulation, the Financial Times reported. AU Optronics plans to increase monthly capacity at a so-called "sixth-generation" plant in the central Taiwan city of Taichung to 200,000 sheets from 150,000 sheets, the Commercial Times reported today. Gold prices, down 7% from a 15-year high in April, may be little changed during the next six months because of rising U.S. interest rates and gains in the dollar, a survey of traders, analysts and investors showed. President Bush will nominate U.S. Representative Porter Goss, a former intelligence officer, as the new head of the CIA, Bloomberg reported. Lockheed Martin's planned $1.65 billion purchase of Titan Corp. has probably been derailed by a U.S. Justice Dept. probe into allegations that Titan consultants bribed foreign officials, Bloomberg said. Tokyo's core consumer prices unexpectedly fell in June, suggesting the central bank will keep interest rates close to zero for longer than economists predicted as it seeks to stamp out six years of deflation, Bloomberg reported. Bill Gross, of PIMCO, said the rise in debt yields over the last three months has made U.S. Treasuries "the market where our money is," Bloomberg reported. BellSouth will begin testing a broadband-on-demand service next month that will allow customers to boost their Internet connection, Business Week said.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +1.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.07%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.07%.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. stocks to open modestly lower in the morning and rise later in the day, barring any significant terrorist actions in the Middle East. My short-term trading indicators are still giving buy signals and the Portfolio is 150% net long heading into tomorrow.

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