Thursday, May 18, 2006

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Commodity prices are about 50% higher than they would be if they were based on the fundamentals of supply and demand, as a surge of investment sent prices for metals and energy to record highs, Merrill Lynch said. The “speculative premium” at the end of April rose from a record 30% in March, based on an analysis of commodities traded on futures exchanges and those bought and sold on physical markets, according to the report by Merrill strategist Richard Bernstein in NY.
- BellSouth(BLS) is demanding that USA Today, the largest US newspaper, retract a story saying the company gave customers’ records to the National Security Agency.
- Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, the law firm that has won more than $45 billion for investors in securities-fraud cases, and two of its partners were charged with participating in a scheme to pay illegal kickbacks to clients.
- The Senate voted to make English the “national language” of the US as part of legislation overhauling immigration policy.
- Japan’s economy grew at an annual 1.9% pace in the three months ended March 31. US economic growth is estimated to have surged 5.8% during the same period.

Financial Times:
- Wyeth(WYE), maker of Advil pain pills, may bid for Pfizer’s(PFE) consumer product division, which could be sold for over $14 billion.

- Symantec(SYMC) filed an infringement lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.(MSFT).

China Business News:
- China may take more measures to control economic growth if lending continues to grow at a fast pace this month and next, citing a meeting between the central bank and commercial lenders yesterday.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Rated (JEC) and EME Outperform.
- Rated (GVA) Underperform.

- Raised (MU) to Outperform.

Business Week:
- The shares of Cerus Corp.(CERS) may rise as much as 150% in 12 months, citing Robert W. Baird’s Christopher Raymond.
- Medtronic(MDT) may rise as much as 26% within the next 12 months because earnings will rise as the economy is less vulnerable to swings in the cardiology industry than competitors, citing Harris Nesbitt’s Joanne Wuensch.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.75% to unch. on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.15%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.16%.

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
- (ASEI)/.76
- (ANN)/.40
- (POWI)/.16

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
- None of note

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are lower, weighed down by exporting stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rally into the afternoon, finishing mixed. The Portfolio is 25% net long heading into the day.

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