Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Thailand’s inflation probably slowed to the lowest in three years in March as consumption stalled amid a slump in confidence and protests against the military-backed government.
- Dissident investors led by OppenheimerFunds won control of Take-Two Interactive(TTWO) and installed a new CEO.
- Japan’s household spending rose at double the pace forecast by analysts and industrial production fell less than expected in February.
- Japan’s consumer prices fell for the first time in 10 months and economists say further declines will keep the central bank from raising interest rates until the second half of the year.
- Toyota Motor(TM) employees in Kentucky are being courted by the United Auto Workers union, which so far has failed to organize any US factories built by Japanese automakers.
- MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of the metal, said the market may be in surplus this year on increasing “unconventional” supplies from China.
- Los Angeles billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad raised their takeover bid for Tribune(TRB) to $34 a share, topping an offer by Sam Zell.
- China produced 27% more copper in 2006 than the official estimate because government statistics didn’t include output from the country’s smallest refineries, China Minmetals Corp. said. The discovery of 26.8 million tons of new copper deposits will offset the country’s “heavy dependency” on imports of the metal and copper prices will fall, said Huang Guoping, vp of China Minmetals Nonferrous Metals Co., a unit of the country’s biggest metals trader.
- The UN Security Council today expressed concern at the detention of 15 British sailors and marines seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf and asked that they be released.
- Amaranth Advisors LLC, the hedge-fund firm that collapsed under a record $6.6 billion in losses in September, was sued by the San Diego County retirement fund. The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association filed a complaint today in federal court in NY that names Amaranth founder Nicholas Maounis, former energy trader Brian Hunter and other fund executives.
- President Pervez Musharraf has failed to tackle Islamic extremism in Pakistan’s religious schools, which continue to promote a holy war against the West and foment terrorism, the International Crisis Group said.
- China National Petroleum and Argentina’s Pluspetrol SA discovered a new oil deposit in the northern Peruvian Jungle, Peru’s Energy Minister said.
- Joseph Brusuelas, chief US economist at IDEAglobal, said US subprime mortgage problems will not spread and economic growth will firm up mid-year.

Business Week:
- Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private-equity firm that was bidding for Chrysler Group jointly with Magna Intl., has called off the partnership. Instead, Magna, which is still interested in a minority stake in Chrysler, is teaming up with NY-based Ripplewood Holdings. Chrysler is receiving bids of more than $6 billion.

Financial Times:
- Man Group Plc will today announce plans for the stock-exchange listing of its US-based brokerage unit, which could be valued at $5 billion.

Shanghai Securities News:
- China’s economic growth will slow to 10% this year while inflation will accelerate to about 2.3%, the central bank’s research bureau forecast in a report published in today’s China Securities Journal. The Chinese central bank will sell more bills, raise bank reserve ratios and boost interest rates to curb excess liquidity, according to the report.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
- Upgraded (RATE) to Buy, target $44.
- Reiterated Buy on (LNCR), target $48.

Sanford C. Bernstein:
- Sun Microsystems(SUNW) would most likely team up with Dell Inc.(DELL) should the world’s third-largest server-computer maker decide to boost its support services business.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.10%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.04%.

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
- (BAMM)/.81
- (CKP)/.39
- (GPN)/.41

Upcoming Splits
- (APH) 2-for-1
- (COG) 2-for-1
- (BBD) 2-for-1
- (BWS) 3-for-2
- (NKE) 2-for-1

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- Personal Income for February is estimated to rise .3% versus a 1.0% gain in January.
- Personal Spending for February is estimated to rise .3% versus a .5% increase in January.
- The PCE Core for February is estimated to rise .2% versus a .3% increase in January.

9:45 am EST
- The Chicago Purchasing Manager for March is estimated to rise to 49.4 versus 47.9 in February.

10:00 am EST
- Construction Spending for February is estimated to fall -.4% versus a -.8% decline in January.
- Final Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence for March is estimated to fall to 88.5 from 88.8 in February.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are higher, boosted by financial and automaker shares in the region. I expect US equities to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

No comments: