Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wednesday Watch

Earnings Announcements

CLZR 2-for-1
DCOM 3-for-2

Economic Data
Consumer Price Index estimated up .3% in Feb. vs. a .5% rise in Jan.
CPI Ex Food & Energy estimated up .1% in Feb. vs. a .2% rise in Jan.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on AMGN, BIIB and DNA. GS reiterated Outperform on NKE ahead of earnings on Thur. GS reiterating Outperform on RCL and CCL after attending State of the Industry panel at Seatrade.

Late-Night News
Asian stocks are mostly higher as a strengthening Japanese economy propelled the Nikkei, led by homebuilders, to a 2% gain. Yum! Brands, the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut, increased China sales by 31% to $1.1B last year, the Xinhua news agency said. The most comprehensive poll taken inside of Iraq has some very interesting and positive findings. A Chinese government official says the U.S. complaint over tax breaks for chipmakers is groundless.

Late-Night Trading
Asian market gains range from +.5% to +2.0%.
S&P 500 indicated +.14%.
NASDAQ indicated +.32%.

BOTTOM LINE: The late-day rally in the U.S. today may continue in the morning on strength in Asia. I will closely monitor the volume and breadth readings on any morning strength to decide whether or not to increase market exposure. The Portfolio is currently 25% net long. It will be interesting to see if the mainstream press burries the positive findings from the Iraqi poll on the back pages, tries to spin it in a negative way or actually makes an effort to report something very positive.

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