Friday, July 15, 2005

Morning Update

"Most of us have a pretty clear idea of the world we want. What we lack is an understanding of how to go about getting it." - Hugh Gibson

Morning News of Note:
  • C: Citigroup's No. 2 Will Leave, Seek A Firm to Lead Two years after losing the horse race to succeed Sanford I. Weill as chief executive, Citigroup Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Robert B. Willumstad said he plans to leave the company to seek a job running another public company. The announcement spells the end of the partnership between Citigroup CEO Charles Prince and its No. 2 executive, Mr. Willumstad, two longtime lieutenants of Mr. Weill, the chairman. Mr. Willumstad, a 59-year-old career banker, was disappointed when Mr. Weill tapped Mr. Prince, a 55-year-old lawyer, for the top spot in July 2003. (Full Story) WSJ
  • HPQ: H-P to Unveil Major Restructuring Hewlett-Packard Co. is expected to announce a restructuring at the giant computer and printer maker on Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation said, in what would likely be the biggest action so far by new Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd. Details of the restructuring couldn't be learned and the timing of the announcement could change. Some Wall Street analysts say thousands of layoffs could be involved. An H-P spokesman declined to comment. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Slowing Economy: Goldilocks Economy? Not This Time INVESTORS ARE FEELING better these days. They shrugged off the terror attacks in London, then backed up the truck in response to June's employment report and have kept buying. And why not? The economy is growing, consumer sentiment is strong, retail sales look good, companies are awash in cash and low interest rates are keeping the housing market hot. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • CEO UCL CVX: Cnooc Fails to Sway Unocal, Keeps Offer at $18.5 Bln Cnooc Ltd. failed to persuade Unocal Corp. directors to support a takeover because China's third- largest oil company didn't raise its $18.5 billion cash offer, people familiar with the matter said. Chief Executive Fu Chengyu has permission from Cnooc's board to raise the bid to $69 a share from $67, said the people, who asked not to be identified. Instead, he offered to set aside $2.5 billion to cover Unocal against any shareholder lawsuits should a sale to the Beijing-based company fail, they said. (Full Story) Bloomberg
  • Mad Money Names: Cramer believes that Tech is the real deal; 'stop thinking short term about tech and become an investor'... states GOOG worth $450... Companies that Jim is Bullish on include: VLO, VNO, EVVV, OSIP, JNJ, COGT, GW, ADP, INTC, OPMR, ABT, UTX, TWX... Bearish: UCL, HOC, VIAC, RHAT, PPDI, PFE, GPRO, FCEL... SONC: Cramer wants people to take profits on PFCB and CPKI and invest in SONC... for fast food chains says got to get out before saturation, notes YUM is an example of this.

Market Comments: The market opens flat this am, despite some very positive inflation reports. PPI came in +0.0% vs. +0.4% consensus. And the NY Empire Index (manufacturing) came in at 23.9 vs. 9.0 consensus. So those are both good datapoints on the economy.

Today's trading will likely be influenced by options expiration. And sometimes we see a little post-expiration hangover, which could spill over into Monday. I am still moderately net long, and will look to use any pullbacks to add to my positions.



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