Monday, December 27, 2004

Monday Watch

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
None of note.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BBY, BSX and EBAY. Investors should buy Asian computer-related stocks such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing(TSM), and Japanese shares, said Merrill Lynch's Spencer White.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly lower on concerns over the effects from the earthquake and tsunamis in the region. Stem cells, known for their potential to heal, also are one of the main forces behind cancer, the Boston Globe reported, citing researchers. Massachusetts was the only state in the US to lose residents in 2004, the Boston Globe reported today, citing US Census data. LG Electronics Inc. aims to take the largest share of Taiwan's flat-panel television market, the Commercial Times reported. More than 79% of Chinese individual investors lost money on the stock markets this year, the China Securities Journal reported. The death toll rose to at least 12,300 after the world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years, off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, unleashed waves that flooded coastal towns from Thailand to India, Bloomberg reported. Samsung Electronics, Canon Inc., Flextronics and other electronics makers in Asia said they're assessing whether yesterday's earthquake in Idonesia will hamper regional shipments, Bloomberg said. Brazil is ending its biggest year for IPOs since 1986, and more companies are lining up to go public next year as a rising stock market and a growing economy encourage investment, Bloomberg said. Viktor Yushchenko claimed victory in Ukraine's disputed presidential election before tens of thousands of cheering supporters after he took a clear lead over Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Bloomberg reported. Shanda Interactive, China's biggest provider of Internet games, said it plans to increase its research staff by as much as 50% over the next year to develop more games in-house, Bloomberg reported. New York crude oil futures are falling, extending last week's 5.1% decline, on expectations warmer weather in the US will reduce demand on the country's fuel stockpiles, Bloomberg reported. US stocks are on pace for the largest post-election rally in more than 50 years, Bloomberg reported. US retailers holiday gift-card sales may have risen to more than $20 billion, topping forecasts and boosting after-Christmas shopping, Bloomberg said. US holiday spending this year was 8.1% more than last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Sales of goods costing more than $1,000 jumped 13.5% while purchases between $500 and $999 rose 6.6%. Spending on apparel and home furnishings increased 9.8% and 9.7%, respectively. Consumer electronics and appliances purchases rose 4.2%, the paper reported. Regionally, spending increased the most in the Great Plains states.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.50% to +.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.11%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.15.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open modestly higher on better-than-expected holiday shopping results, falling energy prices, short-covering and year-end positioning. The Portfolio is 125% net long heading into tomorrow.

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