Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monday Watch

Weekend Headlines
- Genentech Inc.(DNA), the largest US maker of cancer drugs, said its Avastin medicine slowed the spread of brain tumors in a study, offering a potential option against a disease that has resisted therapy for 25 years.
Crude oil prices aren’t high and the commodity is sold for a paltry sum, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today in Riyadh.
- Iran won’t use oil exports as a weapon and will find other ways to respond to US pressure, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.
- Former Fed Chairman Greenspan said the dollar’s decline hasn’t affected the global economy and is a “market phenomenon.”
- The death toll from tropical cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh rose to more than 2,000, with more than 1.5 million people living in temporary shelters after homes were flattened and low-lying areas flooded, disaster management officials said.
- Celgene Corp.(CELG), the maker of thalidomide-based cancer drugs, will acquire Pharmion Corp.(PHRM) for $2.9 billion in cash and stock to expand its product lineup of treatments for blood diseases and cancer.

- Copper futures were little changed near an eight-month low in Shanghai as global inventories rose to their highest since April, raising concerns demand may be slowing for the industrial metal.

Wall Street Journal:
- General Motors(GM), looking to speak year-end demand, has launched a new “Red Tag Event” incentive campaign that offers 0% financing for 60 months on several 2007 models and discounts on many newly launched 2008 models.
- Chrysler, looking to return to profitability by 2009, is considering branding changes that would further simplify its product portfolio while helping to cut as many as 1,000 dealers.

- China’s government has ordered commercial banks to freeze lending through the end of this year in an attempt to rein in surging investment and cool economic growth.

NY Times:
- A Clinton Friend’s Role Sets Off Intense Criticism of CNN and a Re-examination. CNN, which sponsored the Democratic presidential debate Nov. 15, should have more fully disclosed commentator James Carville’s relationship to candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, citing network President Jonathan Klein.
The US was unable to convince the United Nations to adopt a resolution condemning the use of rape in achieving political or military goals. The US delegation wanted specific mention made of government soldiers and militia who use rape in warfare or as a means of intimidation. Those references were removed from the resolution’s text. Government-supported militias in Sudan’s Darfur region have been accused of using rape as a way to intimidate the population.
- The travel purse is still plentiful for Thanksgiving. Despite fuel costs and more airport headaches, Americans are on the move.
- Garmin(GRMN) quits Tele Atlas battle, but might win GPS war.
- Top-performing newsletter turns bearish on Chinese stocks.

- Microsoft(MSFT) Starting to Deliver Servers for the Home.
- IBM(IBM) Beefs Up Storage Offerings.

- Interpol, the world police organization, has issued so-called red notices for the arrest of three Iranian officials, including Deputy Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, alerting customs and border authorities worldwide that they are wanted on terrorism charges. The three men have been charged in Argentina with conspiring along with Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh to blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in July 1994, an attack that killed 85 people.

Business Week:
- The Greatest Givers. BusinessWeek’s Special Report on individual and corporate philanthropy.
- Google’s(GOOG) Solo Wireless Bid. The king of search will bid alone at January’s auction of wireless airwaves, but it’s likely to need a partner to develop a network.

- S&P’s latest stock screen finds 8 top-ranked names whose shares are being snapped up by company insiders.

USA Today:
- Ethanol makers consider coast-to-coast pipeline.
- Who’s at the top of your holiday list? A foodie? A sports nut? A child? We’ve got you covered. A complete holiday gift guide.
- 7 year-end tax-saving moves.
- Safest cars: 11 new models.

- McDonald’s(MCD) Eyes Ballooning Coffee Market.

- Financial market turmoil may last some time, but US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told G20 members on Sunday he was confident that the US economy will keep growing.
- Japan’s prime minister said on Sunday that he believes the US economy is not in a poor state and that problems caused by the subprime mortgage crisis would be resolved soon.
- AT&T(T) may bid for EchoStar(DISH) by year’s end.
- Could the Solar Bug Bring the Sun to the Car Market? Some Entrepreneurs are Trying to Create an Affordable Renewable-Energy Vehicle.

Financial Times:
- Merrill Lynch(MER) and Citigroup(C) may consider selling minority stakes in their brokerage arms to help boost their stock prices and balance sheets.

- OPEC unites behind higher prices.
- Yahoo!(YHOO) staff have been given until the first quarter of 2008 to revamp the poorly performing parts of its European business – or they will be closed down or sold.
- Support for SIV superfund grows.

- They thrive on market volatility and they gamble on failure. Short-sellers, mostly hedge funds, who bet that a share price will fall, have emerged as the biggest winners of the credit crisis. One senior City official says the ubiquitous presence of hedge funds is one of the factors driving companies to abandon public markets.

- BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP) must add $15 billion to its offer for Rio Tinto Group(RTP) for the takeover to succeed, citing Jane Coffey at Royal London Asset Management.

Berlingske Tidende:
- Lego A/S is predicting that sales of the company’s toys may rise as much as 10% in the Christmas season compared with last year, citing Mads Nipper, head of Lego Markets and Products. The increase would make 2007 one of the best years in Lego’s history.

Le Monde:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said French President Nicolas Sarkozy was “young and inexperienced” and criticized his decision to push for sanctions against Iran outside the United Nations, citing a letter Ahmadinejad sent to Sarkozy. He said Sarkozy’s efforts to promote sanctions with the European Union probably will fail as Germany and Italy won’t support them.

- Former US President Bill Clinton raised about $250,000 for his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign fund by appearing at a function in Dublin, Ireland.

- Software AG, Germany’s second-largest software maker, expects to have 2008 sales of at least $1 billion, citing CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich. Sales growth will be boosted by the company’s acquisition of WebMethods in the US, citing Streibich.

Nikkei English News:
- Nippon Oil Corp., Toyota Motor and 14 other Japanese companies will jointly develop technology to produce bioethanol from plants and used construction materials.

China Times:
- AU Optronics Group(AUO) will boost sales at least 30% next year, citing Chairman K.Y. Lee.

Weekend Recommendations

- Made negative comments on (MGM), (WYNN), (LVS), (LLY) and (ADM).

- Upgraded (NMX) to Buy, target raised to $150.

Night Trading
Asian indices are unch. to +.5% on avg.
S&P 500 futures +.17%.
NASDAQ 100 futures +.34%

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Pre-market Stock Quote/Chart
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Global Commentary
WSJ Intl Markets Performance
Commodity Movers
Top 25 Stories
Top 20 Business Stories
Today in IBD
In Play
Bond Ticker
Economic Preview/Calendar
Daily Stock Events
Macro Calls
Rasmussen Business/Economy Polling
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
- (LOW)/.42
- (CPB)/.72
- (MDT)/.57
- (PERY)/.55
- (FMCN)/.43
- (JWN)/.52
- (DY)/.34
- (HPQ)/.82
- (LEAP)/-.07
- (TWB)/.46

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Data
1:00 pm EST

- The NAHB Housing Market Index for November is estimated to fall to 17 versus 18 in October.

Other Potential Market Movers
- The (LMAT) analyst meeting, (RAI) analyst meeting and Bank of America Defense Day could also impact trading today.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by commodity and financial shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.

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