Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Wednesday Watch

Earnings of Note
None of note.

None of note.

Economic Data
Existing Home Sales for November estimated at 6.75M versus 6.75M in October.

None of note.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mixed as strength in Taiwan is being offset by weakness in China and Japan. Thai tourist arrivals may fall by as much as 3.2 million next year should travelers not visit tsunami-hit areas until March, the end of the peak tourist season, the Bangkok Post reported. China's economy will grow by between 8% and 8.5% in 2005, from 9.1% this year, because investment and exports may slow, China Securities Journal said. Merrill Lynch, which is trying to catch up with Goldman Sachs setting up a Chinese investment banking venture, is in talks with Huaan Securities and other mainland firms, Bloomberg said. The US Postal Service said delays and problems that beset US airlines this past week also disrupted the delivery of thousands of letters and packages, the NY Times reported. Top stockholders of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have reported selling more than 4 million company shares since mid-November, valued at $90 million, the Wall Street Journal said. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are among banks financing buyouts that have left some European companies with debt levels that haven't been seen since the days of Michael Milken, Bloomberg reported. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange will probably attract foreign investors because of better prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and economic "stabilization," Bloomberg said. Morgan Stanley and Lone Star Funds bought $2.5 billion worth of Tokyo office space in the second half of 2004, betting the country's three-year economic recovery will halt a decline in property values of 80% since 1990, Bloomberg reported. News Corp.'s Fox television network is charging a record average of $2.4 million for advertisements on the Super Bowl in February, 6.7% more than last season's NFL championship game, Bloomberg said.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.25% to +.75% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.04%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.12%.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. equities to open modestly higher and stay firm throughout the day on a decrease in energy prices, more optimism, short-covering, year-end positioning and a stabilizing US dollar/interest rates. The Portfolio is 125% net long heading into tomorrow.

No comments: