Sunday, February 26, 2006

Monday Watch

Weekend Headlines
- Russia and Iran reached a preliminary agreement on a joint-venture that would allow Russia to enrich uranium for the Islamic Republic and then send it back to the country, citing Iranian Vice President for Atomic Energy Aqazadeh.
- Wal-Mart Stores(WMT) said February same-store sales rose about 3.2%, within its forecast range.
- Dubai’s DP World will start talks with US government agencies about security at six ports it plans to take over, the company’s CEO said, in a bid to address congressional and state opposition to its $6.8 billion purchase of the harbors’ UK parent.
- Google(GOOG) must aid the government in its quest to prevent Internet pornography from reaching minors, the Justice Dept. said in a court filing.
- The US dollar is rising to an almost two-month high against the euro on speculation US reports this week will continue to show US economic strength.
- Crude oil is falling in NY after an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant failed to cut exports and Iran said it may let Russia process its uranium.

- Apple Computer(AAPL) taking over Walt Disney(DIS) may make sense as Apple would be able to meld its media-delivery products with Disney’s “distressed” content and entertainment business, citing Christopher Whalen, an analyst at Institutional Risk Analysis.

NY Times:
- More than a dozen US schools are enrolling only high-school-age basketball players who are performing poorly in academic subjects, to enable them to compete in college sports.
- Former Enron Corp. Chairman Ken Lay’s wealth has diminished since the collapse of the energy trader to less than $650,000 from more than $400 million, citing personal financial records.
- Toshiba Corp. is gaining on Sony Corp.(SNE) in a race to develop the next generation of DVD players, a rivalry that some compare to Sony’s failed bid decades ago for support of its Betamax video format.

- John Bolton, US Ambassador to the United Nations, said that the UN “is deeply troubled by bad management, by sex and corruption and by a growing lack of confidence in its ability to carry out missions that are given to them.”

Washington Post:
- Fraudulent e-mails that seem to be from the IRS and seek personal financial information may rise as the April 15 deadline to file tax returns approaches.
- About 1.6 million US teenagers and young adults have misused stimulants intended for people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, citing a study published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
- Leader of Iraq’s Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions met yesterday to condemn recent sectarian violence in an effort to prevent the attacks from escalating.

Rocky Mountain News:
- Donald Trump is seeking to build the tallest building in Denver, a 60-story luxury hotel and condo tower.

San Francisco Chronicle:
- California corrections officials allowed contractors hired to run prison drug-abuse treatment programs to spend taxpayer money on plasma televisions, cars and other items.

Financial Times:
- Europe is paying for its miscalculations on how to co-exist with Islam amid a crisis over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a leader of France’s Muslim community said.

Sunday Business Post:
- Elan Corp.(ELN) is confident about the outcome of trials into a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, citing Lars Ekman, head of research and development.

- BP Plc won Chinese government approval to form a joint venture with Sinopec Group, which could give BP a 25% stake worth $14 billion in the Chinese oil company.

- DaimlerChrysler AG(DCX) is likely to introduce the Smart small car into the US market, citing an interview with CEO Zetsche.

Tagesspiegel am Sonntag:
- expects worldwide sales to grow by as much as 23% this year, citing an interview with Ralf Kleber, Amazon’s German chief.

Xinhua News Agency:
- China faces the threat of a “massive” outbreak of bird flu because of a recent increase in cases among migratory birds, citing Agriculture Minister Du Qingling.

Kyodo News:
- Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party may formulate a plan by June to legalize casinos in Japan to attract more tourists.

Weekend Recommendations
- Had positive comments on (RCNI), (HET), (APOL), (BDOG), (GRMN), (PBH) and (IACI).
- Had negative comments on (CLCT) and (GHL).

Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on (HRZ), (SPLS), (STN), (CAKE), (MSFT) and (CL).
- Reiterated Underperform on (JNY).

Night Trading
Asian indices are +.25% to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.17%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.21%.

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

Upcoming Splits
- (CELG) 2-for-1
- (EXP) 3-for-1
- (PMTC) 2-for-5

Economic Releases
10:00 am EST
- New Home Sales for January are estimated to rise to 1270K versus 1269K in December.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian Indices are higher, boosted by gains in base metal shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open modestly higher and to build on gains into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.

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