Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday Watch

Late-Night News
Asian indices are higher as exporters in the region rise on optimism over US growth. China will allow more industries to receive private investment as China becomes more market oriented, state-owned Xinhua News Agency said. Wal-Mart de Mexico SA, Latin America's largest retailer, plans to spend $737 million to open 70 stores within the next 12 months, Reuters reported. Microsoft's proposed measures to ensure it complies with the terms of last year's European Commission antitrust ruling are insufficient and will require more concessions from the world's largest software maker, the Financial Times said. Fed Governor Bernanke said inflation in the US is stable and central bankers should continue lifting the benchmark interest rate at the current pace, Bloomberg reported. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Nike Chairman Phil Knight invested in a new buyout fund of as much as $2.5 billion being raised by Oak Hill Capital Partners LP, a firm started by Texas billionaire Robert Bass, Bloomberg said.

Late Recommendations
- Goldman Sachs: Said Offshore Oil Drillers are entering the sweet spot of the cycle, favorites are RIG, DO and ESV. Reiterated Outperform on KSS, IR and MSFT. Reiterated Underperform on WGR and MRO.
- Business Week: Shares of AFC Enterprises(AFCE) may reach $33 in a year, said Steven M. Cohen, chief investment officer at Kellner Dileo Cohen & Co. Microvision(MVIS), which makes optical scanners, will almost double revenue this year from last year as it sells products to companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Honda Motor.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are +.50% to +1.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.03%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.03%.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Asian Indices
European Indices
Top 20 Business Stories
In Play
Bond Ticker
Analyst Actions
Macro Calls
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
- Preliminary 4Q GDP is estimated to rise 3.7% versus a 3.1% prior estimate.
- Preliminary 4Q GDP Price Deflator is estimated to rise 2.0% versus a prior estimate of 2.0%.
- Preliminary 4Q Personal Consumption is estimated to rise 4.6% versus a 4.6% prior estimate.
- Existing Home Sales for January are estimated to rise to 6.7M versus 6.69M in December.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect US equities to open modestly higher on good earnings/economic reports and gains in Asia. However, rising long-term interest rates may temper gains. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into tomorrow.

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