Thursday, January 25, 2007

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- China will tighten environmental controls to restrain investment in factories after two interest-rate increases since April failed to slow economic expansion, Deputy Central Bank Governor Wu Xiaoling said. “We’re going to put forth more effort this year in meeting energy consumption controls,” Wu said. The country’s planners aim for a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product, a 10% cut in pollutants and a 60% increase in the recycle rate of industrial waste within three years.
- Consumer Reports magazine sent letters today apologizing to its 7 million readers for making a mistake in its crash testing of infant car seats and having to retract the results.
- Japan’s inflation unexpectedly slowed in December as oil prices declined, undermining the central bank’s case that interest rates should be raised.
- Rioting broke out in Beirut hours after Saudi Arabia, the US and France led donors pledging a total of $7.6 billion in new funds to help rebuild Lebanon and lend support to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s government.
- The UN development Program Executive Board suspended budget approval for its Norh Korean operations pending the outcome of a probe into whether the agency funneled money to the government of Kim Jong-il.
- Refined nickel imports by China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, may fall 11% this year as the country steps up production from low-grade nickel ores bought from the Philippines.
- Helmut Sohmen, whose BW Group owns the largest privately held fleet of oil supertankers, says the industry may experience a severe downturn in 2008 as deliveries from shipbuilders cause a glut of new vessels.
- Kim Jong-il is unlikely to be under house arrest, an official in South Korea’s presidential office said, casting doubt on a Jiji Press report that North Korea’s leader is absent from Pyongyang and may be under detention.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Business Week:
- Louisiana-Pacific(LPX) is a buyout target for private equity groups because it has cash and assets. The company could be worth more than $27 a share in a buyout deal, said Michael Metz, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Holdings.
- McDonald’s Corp.(MCD) has increased outlet hours since 2003 to boost sales, a shift from its traditional strategy of relying on opening new stores to bolster revenue.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.75% to -1.0% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.03%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.17%.

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
Conference Calendar
Daily Stock Events
Macro Calls
Rasmussen Consumer/Investor Daily Indices
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate
- (AAI)/-.04
- (CAT)/1.34
- (CDWC)/.91
- (FO)/1.35
- (HAL)/.61
- (HON)/.72
- (JCOM)/.28
- (HCR)/.64
- (MLNM)/.07
- (PCU)/2.13
- (TROW)/.51

Upcoming Splits
- (VOL) 3-for-2

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- Durable Goods Orders for December are estimated to rise 3.0% versus a 1.6% increase in November.
- Durables Ex Transports for December are estimated to rise .5% versus a -1.1% decline in November.

10:00 am EST
- New Home Sales for December are estimated to rise to 1052K versus 1047K in November.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are lower, weighed down by technology and financial shares in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rally into the afternoon, finishing mixed. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.

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