Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday Watch

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
Producer Price Index for September estimated up .1% versus a .1% decline in August.
PPI Ex Food & Energy for September estimated up .2% versus a .1% decrease in August.
Advance Retail Sales for September estimated up .7% versus a .3% decline in August.
Retail Sales Less Autos for September estimated up .3% versus a .2% decrease in August.
Empire Manufacturing for October estimated at 25.0 versus 28.3 in September.
Industrial Production for September estimated up .3% versus a .1% increase in August.
Capacity Utilization for September estimated at 77.5% versus 77.3% in August.
Preliminary Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence reading for October estimated at 94.0 versus 94.2 in September.
Business Inventories for August estimated up .6% versus a .9% increase in July.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on IGT, STN, UNH and Underperform on AZR, DJ, KZL, UIS, CNET. Par Pharmaceutical(PPX), a generic drugmaker whose shares have dropped 47% this year, may see its stock recover as more of its drugs receive regulatory approval next year, Business Week said. Shares of OmniVision Technologies, which makes digital-camera chips, may rise as sales of mobile-phone cameras with OmniVision chips surge this year, Business Week reported. Blue Nile(NILE) has been "highly profitable at the early stages of growth," Business Week reported, citing analyst Anne-Marie Peterson of Thomas Weisel Partners.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly lower, led by weakness in China. The Russian government may sell OAO Yukos Oil Co.'s largest unit for as little as $4 billion, the Financial Times reported. Starbucks will publish a children's book next month as part of a new publishing venture, Business Week said. Cisco Systems seized more than $20 million of counterfeit products in a raid in China, the South China Morning Post said. Global demand for thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays is expected to "explode" around the end of the year, the Commercial Times reported. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is using more than 96% of its factory capacity in the current quarter, exceeding analysts' estimates of 80%, the Economic Daily News reported. The company is receiving last-minute orders from customers such as Nvidia, ATI Technologies and Qualcomm, the Taipei-based paper said. Time Warner's Warner Bros. is setting up its first film production venture in China with China Film Group and Hengdian Group as partners, the South China Morning Post said. BHP Billiton, Jiangxi Copper and Wuhan Steel Processing said China's rising usage of copper, nickel and other metals may leave producers unable to meet demand, indicating prices may rebound from declines this week, Bloomberg said. Afghan President Karzai won almost 60% of the vote in early counting from the Oct. 9 presidential election, according to the election Web site.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.75% to unch. on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.09%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated unch.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open modestly lower in the morning on energy, political and earnings' worries, however stocks should rise later in the day on better economic reports and short-covering. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into tomorrow.

No comments: