Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Amaranth Advisors LLC failed to persuade a federal appeals court to grant an emergency stay halting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proposed $291 million fine of the hedge fund. The hedge fund, which is accused of manipulating prices on natural-gas futures markets last year, says FERC doesn’t have authority to punish wrongdoing in futures markets.
- US senators reached a deal to vote on a measure that would make Federal Housing Administration loans available to subprime borrowers facing foreclosure.
- The US Senate approved energy legislation that would increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than three decades and boost the use of biofuels to reduce gasoline consumption.
- Michael Price, the president of MFP Investors LLC, raised his stake in Sallie Mae(SLM) after the student-loan company cut its profit forecast and said a buyout group spurned its offer to hold acquisition talks. Price said he bought shares yesterday and today.
- Freddie Mac(FRE) will have more than enough capital to weather “challenging” conditions in 2008 as tighter underwriting and guarantee fee increases boost profit, according to Bear Stearns(BSC) analysts.
- New Jersey’s Legislature became the first in the US to repeal the death penalty, approving legislation that Democratic Governor Jon Corzine said he will sign.
- Nissan Motor and Chrysler LLC, the third-largest Japanese and US automakers, may borrow technology from each other’s cars and trucks to develop new vehicles.
- China’s factory and property spending growth slowed, another sign that government lending curbs may be starting to cool the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Wall Street Journal:
- Honda to Launch Car Using ‘Affordable’ Hybrid Engine.
- How Goldman Won Big On Mortgage Meltdown.

NY Times:
- The global wealth boom has created a new breed of billionaire in once-destitute countries, and a number of them are using their wealth to push for social changes.
- New $200 billion China fund opens bids to outsiders. Managers in US and Europe expected to line up for sovereign-wealth assets.
- Inflation-linked bonds weather PPI report. Expectations for higher US inflation support TIPS investments.

- AT&T(T) sticks to its own video strategy.
- Google(GOOG) and the Wisdom of Clouds. A lofty new strategy aims to put incredible computing power in the hands of many.
- Marcial: Inside Wall Street. Gene Marcial’s stock picks this week: Focus Media, RSC Holdings and Abiomed.

- AOL Bets On Video For Finance Site.
- Billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. is considering investing in so-called monocline bond-insurance companies. “Most recently we are looking at some of the monbuying insurers because they all seem to need capital and if you can find one that can make it on through without losing the AAA rating, that could be a very, very good investment,” Ross said.
- Google’s Zeigeist: The Hottest Cultural List Around.

- In an effort to eliminate its increasing exposure to problems in the worldwide credit markets, Citigroup(C) announced late Thursday that it would consolidate seven special investment funds containing $49 billion in assets onto its balance sheet.
- GE(GE) Chief sees growth opportunities in 2008.

- US Dollar hits one-month high versus yen on solid US economic data.
- US diversified manufacturer United Technologies(UTX) said on Thursday it expected 2008 earnings to grow by 10% to 14%, citing global growth, and reaffirmed its profit forecast for the current year.

Financial Times:
- The likelihood of the US economy stalling or shrinking in the fourth quarter receded sharply on Thursday as figures showed that retail sale has risen twice as fast as expected last month.

Sydney Morning Herald:
- The International Monetary Fund has praised the coordinated efforts by several central banks to address credit problems.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations

- Reiterated Buy on (BMRN), raised target to $42.
- (RIMM) continues to be our top pick in CY08 after an impressive ’07. We view the smartphone market as a secular growth segment w/in handsets and view (RIMM) as extremely well-positioned due to carrier partnership strategy, talented management, and technology.
- Reiterated Buy on (NKE), raised target to $78.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.50% to unch. on average.
S&P 500 futures -.24%.
NASDAQ 100 futures -.33%.

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
Company/EPS Estimate
- None of note

Upcoming Splits
- (BWA) 2-for-1
- (KMT) 2-for-1

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST

- The Consumer Price Index for November is estimated to rise .6% versus a .3% gain in October.
- The CPI Ex Food & Energy for November is estimated to rise .2% versus a .2% rise in October.

9:15 am EST
- Industrial Production for November is estimated to rise .2% versus a -.5% decline in October.
- Capacity Utilization for November is estimated at 81.7% versus 81.7% in October.

Other Potential Market Movers
- The (ACAD) analyst meeting, (IDC) analyst meeting and (UAM) investor day could also impact trading today.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are lower, weighed down by commodity stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.

No comments: