Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wednesday Watch

Earnings Announcements

GGG 3-for-2
IDSA 2-for-1
WRI 3-for-2

Economic Data
Chicago Purchasing Manager for March estimated at 61.0 vs. 63.6 last month.
Factory Orders for February estimated +1.5% vs. -.5% in January.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on CCU.

Late-Night News
Asian stocks are mixed as strength in China is being offset by weakness in Japan and Hong Kong. Honda filed a lawsuit against Shuanghuan Automobile, alleging the Chinese company infringed its copyright on a sport utility vehicle, the Beijing Times reported. Wal-Mart suppliers will miss the January deadline set by the world's largest retailer for equipping shipments with radio-frequency tags, the Wall Street Journal reported. Aluminum producers in China have shuttered 350,000 tons a year of production capacity as efforts by the government to slow growth in the industry take effect, reported Bloomberg. Chinese steel producers are preparing to set up steel mills in the U.S., Brazil and Australia, from where they will ship the metal back to their home country, the Wall Street Journal reported. Kmart has sued almost 500 U.S. towns, cities and counties because the discount retailer claims its tax bills are too high, the WSJ reported. Crude oil in NY surged as much as 1.2% after reports of a fire in a refinery in Texas raised concern of gasoline shortages ahead of the peak demand season in the third-quarter.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices -.25% to +1.00%.
S&P 500 indicated -.18%.
NASDAQ indicated -.35%.

BOTTOM LINE: U.S. stocks will likely open weaker as gasoline in New York climbed to its highest price in 18 years after the explosion at the third largest refinery in the U.S. As of now, it is not clear if this was an act of terrorism or an accident. If the explosion was in fact an accident, U.S. shares will likely rally after early morning weakness. The Portfolio is 100% net long and I will look to trim market exposure into Friday's employment report. If terrorism was responsible, U.S. shares will fall significantly on the open. Under this scenario, I will wait for a bounce to reduce exposure significantly.

No comments: