Thursday, March 24, 2005

Thursday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- The Australian dollar is falling to the lowest in six weeks as a drop in the price of commodities the nation ships overseas damped the outlook for export earnings.
- Gasoline futures in NY are rising to a record in electronic trading after an explosion at a BP Plc Texas refinery, the third largest in the US, raised concern supply may be disrupted before the summer driving season.
- Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said he will join a March 26 protest against a Chinese law that authorizes attacking the island if it declares independence.

Wall Street Journal:
- Intel Corp. may spend as much as $450 million to build a second plant in China.
- General Electric is considering a bid for closely held NIB Capital Bank NV, an investment bank owned by the two largest Dutch pension funds.

Financial Times:
- Viacom's Showtime Networks has appointed Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley to manage an IPO that may value the Middle Eastern and North African satellite pay-tv network at as much as $2 billion.

China Business News:
- Dell Inc. plans to build a new plant in Xiamen, southeastern China, to double production capacity in the nation this year.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on LIZ, BSX, DNA, WYNN and GILD.
- Reiterated Underperform on AMAT and DRI.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.0% to -.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.09%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated unch.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Asian Indices
European Indices
Top 20 Business Stories
In Play
Bond Ticker
Analyst Actions
Macro Calls
Rasmussen Consumer/Investor Daily Indices
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate

None of note

Economic Releases
8:30 EST:
- Durable Goods Orders for February are estimated to have risen .9% versus a 1.3% fall in January.
- Durables Ex Transportation for February are estimated to have risen .3% versus a .3% increase in January.
- Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to have fallen to 315K versus 318K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims are estimated to have risen to 2650K versus 2647K prior.

10:00 EST:
- New Home Sales for February are estimated to have risen to 1150K versus 1106K in January.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are lower as commodity and exporter shares in the region continue to decline on worries over slowing global demand. I expect US equities to open mixed in the morning and to fall modestly later in the day on worries over higher gas prices, slowing global growth and the Fed accelerating the pace of rate hikes. The Portfolio is Market Neutral heading into tomorrow.

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