Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- International donors are meeting in London today to agree to a five-year plan to develop Afghanistan’s security, government and rule of law, cementing its moves toward democracy since the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.
- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn recruited former Viacom(VIA) CEO Frank Biondi to lead a fight for control of Time Warner(TWX).
- Merck(MRK) won a lawsuit over its Vioxx painkiller, after a state judge in New Jersey said a Texas man failed to prove the drug caused his stomach pain and internal bleeding.
- The US, European Union, United Nations and Russia put Hamas on notice that once it forms a new Palestinian government there will be financial consequences unless the Islamic movement abandons violence, accepts Israel’s existence and abides by existing peace agreements.
- US Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. moved closer to confirmation as the Senate agreed to end four days of debate on his selection to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
- Russia and China agreed to back the referral of Iran’s nuclear program to the UN Security Council at a Feb.2 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, joining the US, UK, France and Germany.
- Google(GOOG) expects “high growth” in Brazil as more people in Latin America’s largest economy gain access to computers, the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin said.

Financial Times:
- OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest oil company, will restart talks with Iraq’s government to develop oil fields in the country, citing Lukoil Vice President Leonid Fedun.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on (EBAY), (BXP), (X), (XOM), (HEP) and (MYL).
- Reiterated Underperform on (GBL) and (UHS).

Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +1.0% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.03%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.06%.

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

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate

Upcoming Splits
(FIF) 3-for-2

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- 4Q Employment Cost Index is estimated to rise .9% versus a .8% gain in 3Q.

10:00 am EST
- Consumer Confidence for January is estimated to rise to 105.0 versus a reading of 103.6 in December.
- Chicago Purchasing Manager for January is estimated to fall to 59.8 versus a reading of 60.8 in December.

2:15 pm EST
- The Fed is expected to raise the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.5%.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are higher, led by technology companies and automakers in the region. The Fed will likely raise the benchmark interest rate 25 basis points, remove the word "measured" from the policy statement describing the future pace of rate hikes and make more dovish comments than most expect. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rally later in the afternoon, fishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

No comments: