Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- A Washington, DC law aimed at capping pharmaceutical prices was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.
- Families and friends of the estimated 220,000 people killed or missing after the Indian Ocean tsunami will attend beachside ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the disaster of Dec. 26.
- Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of memory chips and liquid-crystal displays, expects fourth-quarter profit from both products to beat its earlier projections because of cost cuts and flat-panel television demand.
- Asian contract rates for coal used in power plants may fall more than 20% next year as Indonesia and rival mining nations raised output after prices surged, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said.

Financial Times:
- For the first time since 2001, the four largest US investment banks each had more than $1 billion in mergers and acquisitions revenue this year.
- As much as a third of the $590 million spent by the United Nations on aid following last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami went to administrators and related costs.
- Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have been named “Mean of the Year,” citing its own poll.

Dong-a Ilbo:
- Hwang Woo Suk falsified a 2005 landmark study on stem cell research, according to findings by a Seoul National University internal investigation, citing a Seoul National official.

Seoul Economic:
- Samsung Electronics will begin production at its newest liquid-crystal display factory about three months ahead of schedule because of rising demand for LCD televisions.

Nihon Keizai:
- Sony Corp. has developed an 82-inch liquid-crystal display television to compete against market leader Sharp Corp.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Underperform on SBSA.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are +.25% to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.02%.
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)
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
- None of note

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- Durable Goods Orders for November are estimated to rise 1.2% versus a 3.4% gain in October.
- Durables Ex Transportation for November are estimated to rise 1.0% versus a .3% gain in October.

9:45 am EST
- Final Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence for December is estimated to rise to 89.0 versus a reading of 88.7 in November.

10:00 am EST
- New Home Sales for November are estimated to fall to 1300K versus 1424K in October.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are higher, boosted by tech shares in the region after Samsung boosted its earnings forecast. I expect US equities to open higher and to build modestly on gains into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

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