Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Thursday Watch

Earnings of Note

CAKE 3-for-2

Economic Data
The Import Price Index for November is estimated unch. versus a 1.5% increase in October.
Initial Jobless Claims for last week estimated at 335K versus 349K the prior week.
Continuing Claims are estimated at 2746K versus 2723K prior.
Wholesale Inventories for October estimated to increase .5% versus a .5% gain in September.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BHI, AVP and MDT.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mixed as strength in China is being offset by weakness in Japan. China may let the yuan appreciate as much as 9.5% o 7.72 yuan to the U.S. dollar next year, Sing Tao Daily reported, citing Goldman Sachs' China chief economist Hong. South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun made a surprise visit yesterday to the Asian nation's soldiers serving in the northern Iraqi town of Arbil, Bloomberg reported. American Intl. Group is expanding its insurance offerings with a special policy to help companies in China cover the costs of lawsuits and regulatory investigations, the Asian Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. Trade officials plan to urge the Japanese government to lower barriers to entering the mobile phone market when the two nations hold talks next week, Kyodo News reported. About 10% of U.S. personnel wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have died, less than half the rates of past wars, partly because of better medical care, according to an essay in the Dec. 9 New England Journal of Medicine. The U.S. FCC said it will consider loosening a ban on mobile-phone use in airplanes, Bloomberg reported. Japan's Cabinet has decided to extend the country's troop deployment in Iraq, Bloomberg reported. Newly appointed Afghan President Karzai called provincial officials and tribal leaders to a meeting on combating drug trafficking, two days after he vowed at his inauguration to tackle the problem, Agence France-Presse said. Australia added jobs in November for a third straight month and the unemployment rate fell to a 28-year low, suggesting the fifth-largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region may rebound from its slowest growth in almost four years. Economists raised their U.S. growth forecast for the fourth quarter to 3.8% from 3.5% as a result of the recent fall in energy prices, Bloomberg reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.25%. to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.21%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.53%

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open lower in the morning on weakness in technology shares and a bounce in oil prices. The Portfolio is 50% net long heading into tomorrow.

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