Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thursday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Iraq’s general elections started early today as 10-15 million eligible voters headed to polling stations to elect the country’s first full-term government since the US-led liberation in 2003.
- A threatened strike by New York’s bus and subway workers would cost the city’s economy $400 million a day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
- Iran provided support to Hezbollah terrorists who staged the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, and must pay $126 million to 19 victims, a US judge ruled.
- Amgen said it agreed to buy Abgenix for $2.2 billion in cash, acquiring full ownership of a colon cancer drug they have been developing jointly.
- Microsoft said it boosted its quarterly dividend by 1 cent to 9 cents a share.

China Securities Journal:
- China has suspended approval of further foreign investment in domestic brokerages.

USA Today:
- New Orleans will get stronger levees to withstand a storm with the same magnitude as Hurricane Katrina, citing Donald Powell, the federal coordinator for Gulf Coast rebuilding.
- Cyber crime rings are recruiting methamphetamine addicts to perform tasks that are well suited to people who don’t need much sleep and who are mesmerized by repetitive tasks.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on EBAY, BC, PFE, GILD and SEPR.
- Reiterated Underperform on UST and EOP.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.50% to +.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.04%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.06%.

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
- The Consumer Price Index for November is estimated to decline .4% versus a .2% increase in October.
- The CPI Ex Food & Energy for November is estimated to rise .2% versus a .2% increase in October.
- Empire Manufacturing for December is estimated to fall to 18.2 versus a reading of 22.8 in November.
- Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to fall to 320K versus 327K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims are estimated to rise to 2626K versus 2603K prior.

9:00 am EST
- Net Foreign Security Purchases for October are estimated to fall to $75.0 billion versus $101.9 billion in September.

9:15 am EST
- Industrial Production for November is estimated to rise .5% versus a .9% gain in October.
- Capacity Utilization for November is estimated to rise to 79.8% versus 79.5% in October.

12:00 am EST
- Philly Fed for December is estimated to rise to 15.0 versus 11.5 in November.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly higher after the S&P 500 reached the highest close in 4 years. I expect US equities to open modestly higher and to build on gains into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.

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