Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wednesday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- The US dollar weakened for the first day in 10 against the yen in Asia, ending the longest winning streak since 2001, as some traders bet the currency's rally was excessive.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb won FDA approval for its Baraclude hepatitis B drug.
- Nikko Citigroup Ltd. eclipsed Nomura Holdings Inc. as Japan's leading stock underwriter in the first quarter after arranging the biggest block trade in its six-year history for computer maker Fujitsu Ltd.
- Qwest Communications hired a proxy adviser to build shareholder support for its takeover bid for MCI Inc. and escalate a battle with Verizon Communications.

Wall Street Journal:
- The number of securities class-action suits filed against US companies rose 16% last year to 203.

Washington Post:
- The American Association of Retired Persons is spending more than $5 million over two weeks attacking President Bush's plan to save Social Security.

Financial Times:
- Russia's slowing investment growth is making it difficult to meet a "catastrophic excess" of domestic demand.
- The share prices of international companies with listings in the US may decline if the Sarbanes-Oxley Act compels them to disclose inadequate internal controls, citing research by Mori and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
- Inflation in China may ease this year, falling to 3-3.5%.

Orange County Business Journal:
- Kia Motors, South Korea's second-biggest automaker, bought land for $28 million in Southern California that will be the site of its new US headquarters.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on HOT, PFE, DIS, AMR, RIG, DIS and FS.
- Reiterated Underperform on EQR and VTS.

Banc of America:
- Reiterated Buy on DJ, target $44.
- Reiterated Buy on JRC, target $21.
- Reiterated Buy on NYT, target $40.

JP Morgan:
- Upgraded INSP to Overweight.
- Reiterated Overweight on HPQ.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.50% to unch. on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.14%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.10%.

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:
- Final 4Q GDP is estimated to rise 4.0% versus a prior estimate of 3.8%.
- Final 4Q Personal Consumption is estimated to rise 4.3% versus a prior estimate of 4.2%.
- Final 4Q Price Deflator is estimated to rise 2.1% versus a prior estimate of 2.1%.

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 modestly lower in the morning on higher energy prices and losses in Asia. However, stocks should stage a short-term rally beginning sometime over the next 2 days. The Portfolio is 25% net short heading into tomorrow.

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