Sunday, December 12, 2004

Weekly Outlook

There are a number of economic reports and some significant corporate earnings reports scheduled for release this week. Economic reports include (Mon.)-Advance Retail Sales, Business Inventories (Tues.)-Trade Balance, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization (Wed.)-Empire Manufacturing, NAHB Housing Market Index (Thur.)-3Q Current Account Balance, Housing Starts, Initial Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed. (Fri.)-Consumer Price Index. Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Housing Starts, Philly Fed. and CPI all have market-moving potential.

Mon.-Oracle Corp.(ORCL) Tues.-FuelCell Energy(FCEL) Wed.-Bed, Bath & Beyond(BBBY), Best Buy(BBY), Biomet(BMET), Lehman Brothers(LEH), Lennar Corp. Thur.-Adobe Systems(ADBE), Apollo Group(APOL), Carnival Corp.(CCL), FedEx Corp.(FDX), Goldman Sachs(GS), Nike Inc.(NKE) Fri.-Circuit City(CC) are some of the more important companies that release quarterly earnings this week. There are also some other events that have market-moving potential. The SG Cowen Consumer Conference(Mon.-Tues.), FOMC policy announcement(Tues.), CSFB Small-cap Software Conference(Tues.-Wed.) and SEMI Book-to-Bill report(Thur.) could also impact trading this week.

Bottom Line: I expect U.S. stocks to finish the week higher on seasonal strength, strong earnings/economic reports, more optimism, a stabilizing US dollar, short-covering and bargain-hunting. I also expect long-term interest rates to move modestly higher and energy prices to fall slightly. I continue to believe commodity-related stocks will underperform in the intermediate-term. My short-term trading indicators are still giving Buy signals and the Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.

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