Friday, September 24, 2004

Friday Watch

Earnings of Note
None of note.

None of note.

Economic Data
Durable Goods Orders for August estimated -.3% versus a 1.6% rise in July.
Durable Goods Less Transportation for August estimated +.8% versus a -.2% decline in July.
Existing Home Sales for August estimated at 6.63M versus 6.72M in July.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on MDT and WAG. Goldman reiterated Underperform on SCS and AMCC. Goldman reiterated Attractive view of Steel sector, favorites are ISG and STLD. Shares of Alliance Gaming are expected to rise as demand for gambling devices picks up in 2005, Business Week reported.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mixed as strength in China is being offset by weakness in Japan. Matsushita Electric plans to begin supplying tv set-top boxes and software to Comcast, the largest U.S. cable tv operator, Nikkei English News reported. Taser International pitched its weapons to the San Francisco Police Dept. and used a stun gun on an officer to demonstrate its effectiveness, the San Francisco Chronicle said. While the dept. hasn't formerly asked the San Francisco Police Commission to adopt the device, Police Chief Heather Fong wants every officer in the 2,200-member force to be armed with the device, the paper reported. California regulators are expected to boost the fee rival telephone companies pay SBC Communications for access to copper lines linking homes and businesses to the phone network, the LA Times said. Boeing, IBM and Microsoft are among 28 companies that on Sept. 28 will announce a consortium dedicated to technology standardization for a military network, Business Week said. Google may be planning to offer Internet browser software, reported. The European Commission will probably clear Oracle's $7.7 billion bid for PeopleSoft, the Financial Times said. Citigroup officials are being investigated by U.S. regulators for failing to supervise analysts and investment bankers and preventing conflicts of interest, Business Week reported. FedEx has applied for six weekly flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2006, the South China Morning Post reported. The U.S. Congress approved $146 billion in tax cuts for middle-income families and businesses, Bloomberg reported. Royal Philips Electronic, Europe's third-largest maker of semiconductors, reduced its third-quarter chip sales forecast as demand wanes, Bloomberg reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.0% to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.09%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated unch.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open mixed in the morning as better economic numbers and declining energy prices offset weakness in Asia. The Portfolio is market neutral heading into tomorrow.

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