Thursday, December 16, 2004

Friday Watch

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
Consumer Price Index for November estimated to rise .2% versus a .6% increase in October.
CPI Ex Food & Energy for November estimated to rise .2% versus a .2% gain in October.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on AMGN, DNA and Underperform on FISV, VTS. Banc of America upgraded NBL to Buy. Shares of Keynote Systems(KEYN), which measures how well a company's web site can attract and service customers, are expected to rise following a recent price drop, Business Week reported.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly higher, led by Japanese exporters. Adam Aron, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, said the weaker US dollar is drawing more foreign visitors to the slopes, CNBC reported. Alltel, which sells wireless and local-telephone service, may be the next takeover target with the telecom industry, Business Week reported. Nissan Motor, Suzuki Motor Corp. and other Japanese carmakers face worsening shortages of steel next year as auto production reaches its seasonal peak, the Financial Times reported. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index will rise about 8% next year as corporate profit growth levels off, Business Week reported, citing a poll of strategists. Citigroup's consumer business profits from Asia may rise to about 20% within a few years, the Financial Times said. A US judge ordered a 10-day halt to the sale of OAO Yukos Oil's biggest unit, Agence France-Presse reported. The US, Europe and Arab countries may double aid for the Palestinians if they and Israel meet certain conditions aimed at calming their conflict, the NY Times reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +.75% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.04%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.06%

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open modestly lower on declines in technology stocks. However, equities should rally later in the day on lower energy prices and interest rates. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into tomorrow.

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