Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Wednesday Watch

Earnings Announcements

ASFI 2-for-1
COCO 2-for-1

Economic Data
Durable Goods Orders for February estimated up 1.5% vs. -2.3% prior month.
Durable Goods Less Transportation for February estimated up 1.0% vs. 1.2% prior month.
New Home Sales estimated at 1100K for February vs. 1106K prior month.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Underperform on RKY. is saying OVTI is about to have a lot of large competition. TSC also says that this still looks a pullback in a primary uptrend.

Late-Night News
Asian stocks are mostly higher on an upgrade of Japan's debt rating and several major stock buyback announcements by leading Taiwanese companies. Richard Branson's Virgin USA low-cost carrier plans to purchase as many as 55 planes and may partner with US Airways as it seeks to take advantage of demand for low cost flights in the U.S. OPEC will discuss a proposal to delay production cuts at a meeting next week, OPEC news agency said. Taiwan Semi announced a 300 million share buyback on its 13% decline since the disputed election. Nokia(NOK) may tell shareholders at an annual general meeting Thursday that demand for handsets is rising, leading to better-than-expected 1Q earnings. Japan's debt outlook was raised by S&P, the first of the rating companies to become more optimistic after 3 years of downgrades.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices -.25% to +.75%.
S&P 500 indicated -.05%.
NASDAQ indicated +.11%.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect the U.S. markets to remain weak to flat tomorrow on continuing worries over geopolitical matters, technical deterioration and high commodity prices. The Portfolio is 25% net long and I will look to add market exposure on any signs of a significant countertrend rally.

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