Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thursday Watch

Late-Night News
Asian indices are mostly lower on declines in technology shares in the region and worries over higher energy prices. Matlin Patterson Global Advisers LLC, a US-based buyer of distressed assets, agreed to buy South Korea's Orion Electric for $117 million, Maeil Business Newspaper reported. United Microelectronics shares fell after a report said Vice Chairman John Hsuan must remain in Taiwan for a government probe into the world's second-largest made-to-order chip supplier's ties to a Chinese company, Bloomberg reported. An Israeli military committee has recommended ending the policy of demolishing Palestinian homes used by suspected terrorists, Haaretz reported. US negotiator Chris Hill will visit China this week amid attempts to persuade North Korea to return to six-party talks on dismantling the nation's nuclear weapons program, Xinhua news agency reported. China's influence over N. Korea will be the key to quickly restarting talks on dismantling the communist nation's nuclear weapons program, Japan's Foreign Minister said. Philadelphia officials have proposed giving every resident high-speed Internet access by turning the city into a wireless hot spot, the NY Times said. Domino's Pizza is focusing on hiring better store managers and giving them stock options and promotions to help reduce turnover, the Wall Street Journal reported. Dolby Laboratories raised $495 million in an IPO, making founder Ray Dolby a billionaire, Bloomberg reported. Quadrangle Group LLC, the buyout firm founded by former Lazard LLC partners including Steven Rattner, is seeking to raise about $1.3 billion for its second media and communications fund, Bloomberg said. Sepracor, which developed the Lunesta sleeping pill approved by the FDA in December, hired Morgan Stanley to advise it on "strategic options" that may include a sale, Bloomberg reported.

Late Recommendations
-Goldman Sachs: Reiterated Attractive view of Tobacco sector. Reiterated Outperform on MO and AAP. Reiterated Underperform on RAI and BE.
-Morgan Stanley: Made negative comments on PD, saying the price of molybdenum, a copper byproduct used to make stainless steel, may fall to $10/pound from $33/pound in January. About 28% of the increase in PD's sales during the fourth quarter came from higher prices and sales of molybdenum.

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

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

EBAY 2-for-1

Economic Data
-The Import Price Index for January is estimated to rise .6% versus a 1.3% fall in December.
-Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to rise to 315K versus 303K the prior week.
-Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 2718K versus 2737K prior.
-Leading Indicators for January are estimated to fall .2% versus a .2% increase in December.
-Philadelphia Fed. for February is estimated to rise to 17.3 versus a reading of 13.2 in January.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect US equities to open mixed in the morning and move modestly higher later in the day on strong earnings reports, good economic reports and increasing fund inflows. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into tomorrow.

No comments: