Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- The funeral of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was set for today after her assassination set off street protests and drew condemnations from leaders inside the country and around the world.
- France bans smoking in cafes, hotels and clubs on Jan. 1, stamping out the habit popularized by Jean-Paul Sartre puffing Gauloises in hazy brasseries.
- The perceived risk of Pakistan defaulting on its dollar-denominate debt rose to the highest in a month after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered at an election rally yesterday.

Wall Street Journal:
- Chinese securities regulators are preparing to outline new rules that would give global investment banks access to the country’s domestic exchanges.
- Companies in the S&P 500 paid a record $27.73 a share in dividends in 2007, and S%P expects that amount to rise 9.3% in 2008.

NY Times:
- A Post-Google Fraternity of Investors. A growing number of Google millionaires are hoping to parlay their newfound wealth into even greater riches by bankrolling technology start-ups.
- Beware the dreaded R word. You don’t know whether we’re in a recession until months after it starts. But investing successfully requires looking forward, not backword.
- Apple(AAPL) seen planning own Ne(x)tflix. Surging consumer tech company is developing rental components to iTunes that could dramatically boost digital movies, according to a report.
- iPhone Could Give Apple(AAPL) Inroad to Enterprise Sales.

- With Housing Down, Some Buying Spots The Boom Bypassed.
- US online retail sales from November 23 through December 24 rose 22.4% from the year-earlier figure, Mastercard(MA) Advisor’s SpendingPulse reported on Thursday. And Chase(CCF) Paymentech’s Pulse Index, which uses transaction data from 10 top online merchants, says holiday sales through December 23 were up nearly 30%.

- Nike, Coke try to inspire with New Year’s ads.

Financial Times:
- Bhutto in her own words: ‘Only democracy can defeat Pakistan’s extremists.’

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
- None of note

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.25% to unch. on average.
S&P 500 futures +.26%.
NASDAQ 100 futures +.16%.

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
- (TWIN) 2-for-1
- (CMI) 2-for-1
- (GHM) 5-for-4

Economic Releases
9:45 am EST

- The Chicago PMI for December is estimated to fall to 51.7 versus 52.9 in November.

10:00 am EST
- New Home Sales for November are estimated to fall to 717K versus 728K in October.

Other Potential Market Movers
- The weekly EIA natural gas inventory report could also impact trading today.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly lower, weighed down by technology shares and automaker stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

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