Thursday, December 15, 2005

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Merck moved closer to winning the world’s first approval of a vaccine for the painful shingles infection by gaining the backing of US government advisers.
- Japan’s central bank held interest rates near zero and maintained the pace at which it floods the banking system with cash as it struggles to squeeze the last vestiges of deflation from the world’s second-biggest economy.

NY Times:
- As many as 11 million voters may have taken part in Iraq’s election for a National Assembly, boosted by the participation of the Sunni community. Initial indications are that overall turnout may reach 70%.

China Daily:
- China’s most expensive property market has been deflating since June, when new taxes aimed at speculators halted a six-year boom during which prices almost tripled. The amount of new apartment space on sale in Shanghai jumped to 9.66 million square meters as of Tuesday, almost three times the 3.59 million square meters on the market at the end of 2004.

Hankook Ilbo:
- South Korean steelmakers may have their most difficult year in 2006 because of an oversupply by their Chinese rivals, citing Lee Ku Taek, CEO of Posco.

Economic Daily News:
- Dell Inc. plans to raise the number of monitors it buys from Taiwan by 15% in 2006 from this year, citing the company’s global monitor purchasing chief. The computer maker plans to increase orders from the island because of the improved outlook for sales of PCs, laptops and liquid-crystal display televisions.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on CAH, MAR and ALK.
- Reiterated Underperform on PBG, MAXY and DRI.

Business Week:
- DR Horton(DHI) shares may reach $45 in a year, citing Peter Zuleba, portfolio manager at Glenmede Trust Co. which owns the stock.
- Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd.(MRH), a Bermuda-based re-insurer, may benefit as the annual frequency of hurricanes reverts back to two to three a year, citing John Maloney of M&R Capital Management.
- Western Digital(WDC) may benefit as its products are used in consumer electronics, citing Bernie Schaeffer of Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.50% to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.10%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.12%.

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

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate

Upcoming Splits
CAM 2-for-1
VLO 2-for-1

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- The 3Q Current Account Deficit is estimated to widen to -$205.0 billion versus -$195.7 billion in 2Q.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mixed as gains in financial shares are offsetting losses in commodity stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rally into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 50% net long heading into the day.

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