Thursday, June 24, 2004

Thursday Watch

Earnings of Note

None of note.

Economic Data
Durable Goods Orders for May estimated +1.5% versus -3.2% in April.
Durable Goods Less Transportation estimated +1.3% versus -2.6% in April.
Initial Jobless Claims for last week estimated at 340K versus 336K prior week.
Continuing Claims estimated at 1125K versus 1093K prior.
Help Wanted Index for May estimated at 39 versus 38 in April.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BSX, remains a favorite idea. Goldman reiterated Outperform on TRB and AGR/A. Goldman reiterated Underperform on SGP and DJ. The has a positive column on JDSU, AVNX and MTZ, saying they will benefit from FTTP build-out.

Late-Night News
Asian indices are higher as investors in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea boosted shares of financial and technology companies. Asian companies, led by technology businesses, have raised $2.5 billion of equity capital in the U.S. this year, a fivefold increase from a year earlier, the Financial Times reported. Samsung Electronics has cut prices of LCD display televisions by as much as 20% because sales in the U.S. have lagged expectations, the DigiTimes Web site reported. Porsche AG plans to increase annual production by 33%, the Financial Times said. News Corp. is in talks with the owner of the biggest city daily newspaper in China's western region as it seeks to expand into the nation's print business, the China Securities Journal reported. British diplomats met eight UK servicemen held in Iran as talks take place to try to secure their release today, the BBC reported. Japanese service industries expanded in April and a survey showed confidence among corporate executives is higher this quarter, adding to optimism that the world's second largest economy will extend its longest recovery since 1997, Bloomberg reported. The U.S. Senate approved a $447.2 billion Defense Department authorization bill for the next fiscal year that preserves $13.9 billion for missile defense, raises military pay and increases the active duty army by 20,000 troops, Bloomberg reported.

Late-Night Trading
Asian Indices are unch. to +2.0% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.04%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.17%.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect U.S. stocks to open modestly higher in the morning on strength in Asia and a continuation of the technology stock rally. While the current rally may last a couple of days, a consolidation is likely before June 30. However, after this brief pause, I expect the current rally to resume for a few more weeks as U.S. stocks test the highs set in the first quarter. The Portfolio is 150% net long heading into tomorrow.

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