- The number of US broadband subscribers grew 34% last year to 38 million, the most of any country in the world, according to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin.
- Australia's government will consider sending more troops to Afghanistan, Prime Minister John Howard said.
- Oil is rising to another record of $61.62/bbl. in NY on speculation Hurricane Dennis may disrupt shipments along the US Gulf coast.
- Australian employers hired extra workers in June, unexpectedly cutting the jobless rate to the lowest in almost 29 years.
- The US dollar traded close to an 11-month high against the yen on expectations a US government report on Friday will show job growth more than doubled in June.
Wall Street Journal:
- China has started a new purchasing managers' index that is expected to become a leading economic barometer for the country. The index, which has data from January, shows a June reading of 51.7 points, representing a slide for the third consecutive month since March's 57.9. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, a reading below 50 a contraction.
- CNOOC Ltd. Chairman and CEO Fu Chengyu said China's biggest offshore oil company may raise its $18.5 billion bid for Unocal Corp. to beat Chevron.
- China does not meet the criteria to be considered a market economy, citing an interview with European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
- Wipro Ltd., India's third-largest software maker, plans to buy for as much as $1 billion the information technology division of a US company after its split from the parent.
- The Hamas movement said its "lost faith" in Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and may continue attacking Israel with mortars and rockets after the disengagement from Gaza is completed.
- China Mobile will seek to raise its share of non-voice services revenue to 30% from 15%.
Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
- Reiterated Outperform on AMGN, DNA, GILD, AMLN, ARO, SBUX and IDIX.
Banc of America:
- Upgraded BLL to Buy.
Asian Indices are -.50% to +.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.01%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.03%.
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Earnings of Note
8:30 am EST:
- Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to rise to 320K versus 310K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 2582K versus 2600K prior.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly lower as rising energy prices spur further growth worries in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower on apprehension ahead of Hurricane Dennis and Friday's employment report. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.