Sunday, December 12, 2004

Monday Watch

Earnings of Note

GDW 2-for-1

Economic Data
Advance Retail Sales for November are estimated to fall .1% versus a .2% rise in October.
Retail Sales Less Autos for November are estimated to rise .3% versus a .9% gain in October.
Business Inventories for October are estimated to rise .5% versus a .1% gain in September.

Weekend Recommendations
Rukeyser's Wall Street had guests that were positive on SZE, TIF, XOM, TMO, PTEK, AEE, D and GIS. Forbes on Fox had guests that were positive on LLL, IDTI, INTC, RPM, ZBRA and ANZ. Cashin' In had guests that were positive on HSY, LUK, HD and mixed on K, PZZA, SAFM, NUE. Bulls and Bears had guests that were positive on GSIC, NCC, EBAY, ERTS, GS, SFA, NVS and mixed on CSCO, CI, TOL. Barron's had positive comments on JPM, AES, RRI, CPN, ADM, EK, HL, WMT and INT. Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on ACS, DNA, EBAY, MER, X, NUE and SPP.

Weekend News
China has raised next year's economic growth target to 8%, the first time it has lifted its estimate above 7% since 1999, the Economic Observer reported. Ukrainian opposition leader Yushchenko said his administration would go to court to reverse illegal sales of state assets if he were to become president, the Financial Times reported. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's party failed to win more seats in a legislative vote, which could hamper his proposals to further the island's national identity that would have deepened a rift with China, Bloomberg said. The Canadian Internet pharmacy industry, which has more than $800 million in annual sales in transactions with the U.S., is facing increasing regulatory, political and economic pressures, the NY Times reported. U.S. stocks will rise next year as the economy strengthens, boosting the S&P 500 Index as much as 12%, money managers told Barron's. Job growth may accelerate in 2005 and the US trade deficit may narrow to as little as 5% of gross domestic product, helping GDP growth to rise 4%-5%, higher than the 3.5% forecast of economists, Barron's reported. Bristol-Myers Squibb is preparing to sell its consumer medicines unit for as much as $800 million, and GlaxoSmithKiline Plc and Johnson & Johnson may bid for it, London's Sunday Times reported. More than 300,000 U.S. students between eighth and 12th grade used steroids last year, Newsweek magazine said, citing analysis of a report from the Univ. of Mich. Honeywell Intl., the world's No.1 maker of cockpit electronics, plans to buy Novar Plc for $1.52 billion to obtain its building security, fire systems and services business, the Wall Street Journal reported. Permira, a European buy-out group has entered a joint venture with Apollo Management LP to make an offer for Toys R Us, which is worth about $3.5 billion, the Financial Times said. Procter & Gamble's Indian unit had a 25.5% sales growth in October compared with a 1.9% increase at rival Hindustan Lever, Economic Times said. Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, apologized to Kuwait for Palestinian support for Iraq in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, the AP reported. The oil minister for Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest oil producer, said the nation will reduce output by 500,000 barrels a day to enforce a recent accord. The supply of oil is still outstripping demand after OPEC, the producer of more than a third of the world's output, begins to reduce production to prop up falling prices, the Qatari oil minister said. General Motors and DaimlerChrysler AG will jointly develop a gasoline-electric power system to catch Toyota Motor and Honda Motor in the technology that saves fuel and cuts tailpipe emissions, Bloomberg reported. A number of economists say a gradually declining US dollar is good for equities, the AP reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian indices are mostly lower, -.75% to +.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.14%
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.31%.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect US stocks to open modestly lower in the morning on a bounce in oil prices, however shares will likely strengthen later in the day. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into tomorrow.

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