Thursday, December 02, 2004

Thursday Watch

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
Initial Jobless Claims for last week estimated at 330K versus 323K the prior week.
Continuing Claims estimated at 2768K versus 2755K prior.
Factory Orders for October estimated to rise .2% versus a .4% decline in September.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Underperform on DE, EW, CMOS and PYX.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are higher on optimism over falling energy prices and exports to the U.S. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing's customer orders will rebound in the first quarter on demand from graphics chip designers such as Nvidia Corp., the Commercial Times reported. General Motors is planning a joint venture with Yulon Motor to make vehicles in Taiwan, the Economic Daily News reported. Halliburton may win the contract to oversee construction of the U.K. Ministry of Defense's two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers due to enter service in 2012 and 2015, the Independent said. India may attract as much as $4 billion more in the next two months from overseas funds investing in local stocks and bonds as economic expansion and a stronger rupee help boost their returns, the Business Standard reported. Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor stocks are rising in Asia after a report showed Asian automakers are headed for a record share of the U.S. auto market, after gaining on GM and Ford in November, Bloomberg reported. Ukraine's parliamentary groups are negotiating to choose a successor to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych after he lost a confidence vote prompted by the crisis arising from disputed presidential elections, Bloomberg said. Nissan Motor said it may cut production next year because of a lack of steel, the second time a shortage of the metal has interrupted production, Bloomberg reported. The US dollar will rebound, halting its 3.5% drop in the past month versus the yen, as the strength of the U.S. economy increases the appeal of its assets, said Zembei Mizoguchi, a former top Japanese currency policy maker, Bloomberg reported. UN Secretary-General Annan will not resign over the massive corruption relating to the Iraqi/UN Oil-for-Food program as called for by a U.S. senator, Xinhua News reported. Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone said there is a "total disconnect" between the company's performance and the value of its shares, which have declined 20% this year, Bloomberg reported. President Bush may have to move faster to present his proposals for a revision of the U.S. tax code to Congress if he wants to get them approved, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are +1.0%. to +1.5% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.03%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.09%

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open mixed in the morning on a consolidation of today's gains. However, stocks will likely rise modestly into the afternoon on continuing optimism over falling energy prices, short-covering ahead of Intel's mid-quarter update and anticipation of another good jobs report. The Portfolio is 125% net long heading into tomorrow.

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