Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- The US stock market posted its biggest gain in eight months, after the Federal Reserve indicated it is no longer biased toward higher interest rates. The S&P 500 is now 1.6% higher for the year.
- Short interest on the NYSE surged 10% to an all-time high of 10,510,000,000 shares from mid-February through mid-March.
- The ABX-HE-BBB-07-1 sub-prime index, which has been the source of much angst, rose again yesterday to 71.09. It is up from a low of 62.25 a couple of weeks ago.
- Imports of crude oil by Japan, the world’s largest user of the fuel after the US and China, fell for the 10th consecutive month in February, dropping 5.5% from a year earlier. Imports of liquefied natural gas jumped 15% to 5.35 million metric tons.
- Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Assoc. LLC, expects oil to fall to $55.
- Fording Canadian Coal Trust, the world’s second-largest exporter of coal used to make steel, plans to sell coal at an average $91 ton in the year starting April 1, down 15% from a year earlier.
- Farallon Capital Management LLC held talks buy Accredited Home Lenders Holding(LEND) before agreeing this week to give the subprime mortgage company a loan.
- Motorola Inc.(MOT) said profit and sales will be “substantially” below its forecast this year because of falling mobile-phone prices. The company also named a new president and detailed a plan to step up its share buyback program amid a proxy fight with shareholder Carl Icahn. The shares fell 4.8% in after-hours trading.
- Wells Fargo(WFC), whose stock has languished this year amid investor concern about rising defaults at US mortgage lenders, may buy back up to 2.2% more of its shares.
- Roaring 40s Renewable Energy Pty., a venture between Hydro Tasmania and CLP Holdings Ltd. agreed to build three wind farms in China in a joint venture with Guohua Energy Investment, a unit of China Shenhua Energy.
- Japan’s trade surplus unexpectedly widened in February after exports to China and the US grew more than economists anticipated.

Financial Express:
- The Securities & Exchange Board of India may approve short selling of stock by institutional investors.

- Cuba, which has increased oil production 700% since 1995, plans to increase drilling another 40% this year, according to a adviser at the Ministry of Basic Industries.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
- Reiterated Buy on (EQIX), target $115.
- Reiterated Buy on (ROST), target $41.
- Reiterated Buy on (WYE), target $63.
- Raised (SKS) to Buy, target raised to $24.
- Reiterated Buy on (LMT), target $108.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are +.75% to +1.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.09%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.10%.

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
- (COMS)/.01
- (ATU)/.70
- (BKS)/1.88
- (BGP)/1.60
- (CAG)/.30
- (FRED)/.26
- (GIS)/.70
- (KBH)/.32
- (NKE)/1.32
- (PALM)/.11
- (SCHL)/-.06
- (WSM)/1.04

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to rise to 323K versus 318K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 2545K versus 2576K prior.

10:00 am EST
- Leading Indicators for February are estimated to fall -.4% versus a .1% increase in January.

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

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