Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday Watch

Earnings Announcements

CTX 2-for-1

Economic Data
Empire Manufacturing estimated at 38.0 for March vs. 42.05 in February.
Industrial Production for February estimated up .4% vs. up .8% in January.
Capacity Utilization for February estimated at 76.4% vs. 76.2% in January.

Weekend Recommendations
Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street had featured guests that were positive on MRX, WPI, ZBRA, FISV, HDI, CECO, EOG, SHW, AXP and AIG, while they had negative comments on cyclicals and bonds. Forbes on Fox had guests that were positive on OPSW, JBLU, PFE, AZN, MRK and JNJ. Bulls and Bears had guests that were positive on JNJ, EBAY, SYMC, PFE, mixed on C and negative on SMH. Cashin' In had guests that were positive on XOM, BP, UPL, WM and mixed on MSO and MCD. Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on POL and $8 target. GS reiterated Outperform on A and WFC. GS raised EBAY 1Q earnings and revenue estimates and reiterated Outperform. Fortune has a positive article on homebuilders. Barron's has positive articles on C, CUB and a negative article on MAMA. GE's new interest in solar power has many becoming bullish on the solar sector, NY Times reported. Changes in the S&P indices will cause selling pressure in WMT and buying pressure in XOM and GE, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Weekend News
Qualcomm customers are complaining about long lead times and partial shipments. OPEC looks set to apply the oil production cut, there's talk of a new higher price band, reported Channelnews Asia. The has a very good article that I highly recommend reading. The impeachment of South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun may impact Japanese exports and negotiations toward a free trade agreement between Japan and South Korea, Bloomberg reported. U.S. companies are scrounging for scrap metal as surging demand from China is keeping U.S. metal supplies tight, and dealers busy, the New York Times reported. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said economic imbalances such as transport bottlenecks energy shortages and rising consumer prices present as big a challenge to the government as SARS did last year, Bloomberg reported. NYC agencies are increasing their use of technology, including satellite-tracking devices and handheld computers, in an effort to cut costs, boost efficiency and improve services, the NY Times reported. About 1,000 NYC firefighters, police, medical experts and other emergency personnel will participate today in a "weapons of mass destruction" drill, the NY Post reported. Three buyout firms agreed to buy a unit of EDS for $2B, the Wall Street Journal reported. Spain's government received a video-tape, hours before their elections, purportedly from al-Qaeda claiming the terrorist group was behind the Madrid bombings. Subsequently, the Socialist party unexpectedly ousted the ruling Popular Party that had been in power for 8 years.

Late-Night Trading
Asian indices are mostly higher, with the exception of Taiwan. Gains range from +.5% to +1.5%. Taiwan is down 2.36%.
S&P 500 indicated -.14%.
NASDAQ indicated -.10%.

BOTTOM LINE: The message the Spanish people sent to al-Qaeda, by unexpectedly voting the ruling party out of power, is that terror pays. This may result in a lower open for U.S. stocks as investors contemplate the possibility of an al-Qaeda led attack on our soil before U.S. elections in an attempt to influence the outcome here, as well. I will buy on any significant weakness in the morning as I believe it will be short-lived. The portfolio is 75% net long heading into the week.

No comments: