Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- The risk of Australian and Japanese companies defaulting on their bonds fell, credit-default swaps show. The Markit iTraxx Australia Series 9 Index dropped 10 basis points to 83 basis points in Sydney, Citigroup said. The Markit iTraxx Japan Index fell 9 basis points to 70 basis points in Tokyo, according to Morgan Stanley.
- Crude oil fell for a fourth day as the US dollar rose against most currencies, limiting the appeal of commodities as an inflation hedge.
- The yen fell for a second day against the dollar and declined against the euro as gains in stocks encouraged investors to increase holdings of higher-yielding assets funded in Japan.

- Canon Inc., Japan’s biggest office equipment maker, rose the most in a week in Tokyo trading after the company said it plans to spend $600 million in the US to expand laser-printer cartridge production. Tokyo-based Canon will build a new 700,000 square-foot factory to produce cartridges in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The new plant will create more than 1,000 jobs.

Wall Street Journal:
- Electric Nissans Planned in US by 2010. Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosen said he is preparing to take advantage of a “mass market” in electric vehicles he expects to emerge by 2012.
- Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said he can build an Internet advertising business without buying Yahoo! Inc.
- Commonly cited measures of US home prices are overstating the degree to which the vast majority of Americans’ home values have declined in the last year, producers of two of the most widely tracked indexes acknowledged this week.
- Richard Russell says we’ve seen this market’s bottom.
- Help Wanted In Filling These Hot Jobs.
- Big Wall Street investment companies are pulling back on their borrowing from the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program. This week marks the fourth straight where investment firms borrowed less from the central bank.

NY Times:
- Soaring gas prices have turned the steady migration by Americans to smaller cars into a stampede.
- The Mac in the Gray Flannel Suit. More office workers infatuated with iPods and iPhones are demanding Macs.
- Stocks: 11 Innovation Plays.
- Strong Summer Rentals for the Hamptons.
- Shares of Lehman Brothers(LEH) rose Thursday as Citi Investment Research analyst said the investment bank’s shares could be worth as much as $65 based on Citi’s valuation model and past performance of the investment bank.
- AT&T(T) price cut could juice iPhone sales. AT&T’s(T) planned $200 subsidy on Apple’s(AAPL) iPhone could increase the sales of the new 3G model by 50%, according to one analyst.
- Apple’s(AAPL) new Hollywood deal: Death of the DVD?

- The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it hoped to complete rules by the end of the year on how it plans to enforce a new law against price manipulation and deception in the oil-trading markets.
- Anybody who dreaded first-quarter earnings reports is probably relieved now. Earnings, excluding the financial sector, are up 12.2%.

- Will Micro Fuel Cells Fly High? The US has approved the use of some micro fuel cells in airplanes, removing a major market barrier.

- General Motors(GM) and Mascoma Corp. announced a strategic relationship to develop cellulosic ethanol focused on Mascoma’s single-step biochemical conversion of non-grain biomass into low-carbon alternative fuels.

Financial Times:
- A growing number of hedge fund managers are trying to persuade investors to back new ventures by offering discounted fees to help make up for losses at funds that have failed.
- Yahoo Inc.(YHOO) could announce an agreement to carry search advertisements from Google Inc.(GOOG) within a week as it braces for Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) to abandon its unsolicited acquisition offer or go hostile.
- Euro shows signs of end to bull run. Many economists are reaching the view that eurozone growth has slowed to the point where the European Central Bank will have to cut interest rates or risk stunting economic growth. “Within the space of one week, the outlook for the eurozone has worsened significantly,” said Carsten Brzeski at ING Capital Markets. “Sound economic fundamentals are melting away.”

- China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base that could threaten Asian countries.

The Business Times:
- Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the city-state’s economic slowdown may extend into 2009.

Taipei Times:
- Taiwan’s property market may be in oversupply as developers build more homes than needed, citing Chuang Meng-han, an industrial economics professor at Taipei’s Tamkang University.

- More than 1,000 children aged from nine to sixteen were put to work as cheap labor at factories in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan, citing the city’s deputy mayor Li Xiaomei. The children were forced to work almost around the clock, beaten and deprived of pay, nourishment and basic medical care. The government will fine those involved as much as $7,156.
- The rapid appreciation of the Chinese currency against the US dollar is taking a big toll on Asian companies using China as base for exports to the US.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations

- Reiterated Buy on (CMCSK), lowered target to $29.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are +.50% to +2.0% on average.
S&P 500 futures +.16%.
NASDAQ 100 futures +.18%.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Pre-market Stock Quote/Chart
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Global Commentary
WSJ Intl Markets Performance
Commodity Movers
Top 25 Stories

Top 20 Business Stories
Today in IBD
In Play
Bond Ticker
Economic Preview/Calendar
Daily Stock Events
Rasmussen Business/Economy Polling
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate
- (CCU)/.21

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST

- The Change in Non-farm Payrolls for April is estimated at -75K versus -80K in March.
- The Unemployment Rate for April is estimated to rise to 5.2% versus 5.1% in March.
- Average Hourly Earnings for April are estimated to rise .3% versus a .3% gain in March.

10:00 am EST
- Factory Orders for March are estimated to rise .2% versus a -1.3% decline in February.

Other Potential Market Movers
- The Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference and Fed governors speaking on consumer regulations could also impact trading today.

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

No comments: