Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday Watch

Earnings of Note
None of note.

None of note.

Economic Data
Unemployment Rate for November estimated at 5.4% versus 5.5% in October.
Average Hourly Earnings for November estimated up .3% versus a .3% increase in October.
Change in Non-farm Payrolls for November estimated at 200K versus 337K in October.
Change in Manufacturing Payrolls for November estimated at 0K versus a loss of 5K in October.
Average Weekly Hours for November estimated at 33.8 versus 33.8 in October.
ISM Non-Manufacturing for November estimated at 58.5 versus 59.8 in October.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on AMGN, BSX, GE and INTC. Goldman reiterated Underperform on ALA and TLAB. Colgate-Palmolive(CL), whose shares have dropped 14% since Sept. 20 when the company said 2004 profits wouldn't meet forecasts, is again attracting investors, Business Week reported. Given Imaging(GIVN) shares may rise on sales of its diagnostic camera in a pill, Business Week reported. Curis(CRIS), a maker of drugs to fighter cancer and kidney disease, may become the target of a takeover because it has three big pharmaceutical companies as partners, Business Week reported.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly higher on optimism for technology shares in the region after Intel's mid-quarter update. Nigeria wants to boost its oil exports to the U.S., President Obasanjo said in an interview with CNN. China faces a bigger influx of foreign currencies as investors bet the government will let the yuan appreciate, the state-run Xinhua News said. Credit-card issuers are losing business because consumers are shifting their debt to low-rate home-equity loans, Business Week reported. The number of blogs on the Internet has risen to about 4.8 million, from 100,000 two years ago, Business Week said. Dongfeng Motor of China and Cummins of the U.S. agreed to establish a $20 million research and development center for truck engines in Wuhan, central China, Chinanews agency reported. Citigroup CEO Charles Prince is considering taking steps to address investor worries that the company is too large to manage and grow, the NY Times said. President Bush will use a mid-December economic summit to begin a push for his plan to allow younger workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes, Bloomberg reported. The US dollar headed for its first weekly gain in eight against the euro in Asia on expectations a report today will show U.S. employers added enough workers to fuel consumer spending and economic growth, Bloomberg reported. Shares of NEC Electronics, Toshiba Corp. and other computer-related companies rose in Asia after Intel said fourth-quarter sales will exceed its previous forecast because of higher demand for processors used to power laptop, desktop and server computers, Bloomberg reported. Verizon raised $1.88 billion from the sale of its 20.5% stake in Canada's Telus Corp., Bloomberg reported. IBM wants to sell its pc business for between $1 billion to $2 billion, Bloomberg said.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.39%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.81%

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open higher in the morning on optimism over Intel's mid-quarter update and a better-than-expected employment report. Interest rates will likely rise on this news which could lead to profit-taking later in the day, resulting in a modest daily gain for stocks. The Portfolio is 125% net long heading into tomorrow.

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