Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Morning Update

"If you have something to do that is worthwhile, don't talk about it, but do it. After you have done it, your friends and enemies will talk about it." - George W. Blount

Morning News of Note:
  • TTWO: Grand Theft Auto Game Fallout Prompts Inquiry by the FTC The fallout from hidden sex scenes in one of the most popular videogames continued yesterday as Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said the Federal Trade Commission is conducting an inquiry into its controversial Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game. The New York game publisher said it was notified that the FTC's division of advertising practices is examining advertising claims that Take-Two made for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Energy Bill: Congress Is Set To Approve Energy Bill After five years of trying, Congress is poised to pass an energy bill, delivering a victory for President Bush, who pushed for many of the policy goals in his presidential campaigns. The energy legislation appears to have enough bipartisan support to overcome the possibility of a filibuster or budget-related objections in the Senate, where it is scheduled to arrive for final approval by the end of the week. (Full Story) WSJ
  • CMCSA DIS: Comcast Mulls Sports Network to Rival ESPN If you can't buy 'em, clone 'em. Cable-television giant Comcast Corp. failed last year in an attempt to buy Walt Disney Co. and its ever-burgeoning ESPN sports network. Now, the Philadelphia-based company is exploring the possibility of mounting a challenge to ESPN, the undisputed leader in TV sports programming. People familiar with the company's plans say Comcast is interested in recasting its quirky and low-rated Outdoor Life Network. While best known for its coverage of Lance Armstrong's annual victory at the Tour de France, it is also the home of professional bull riding, bear hunting and competitive barbeque. (Full Story) WSJ
  • MOT RIMM: Motorola's Q Looks to Dial Into BlackBerry Success Motorola Inc. is taking aim at the success of the BlackBerry mobile phone and e-mail device with a similar product of its own, which the company unveiled at an analyst conference in Chicago this week. Dubbed the Q, Motorola's device will feature a color screen, a keyboard and a digital camera. Motorola said the "smartphone" gadget is scheduled to hit retail shelves in the first quarter of 2006 but did not announce a price for the product, which will use an operating system from Microsoft Corp. (Full Story) Washington Post
  • AMZN: Amazon conference call summary (41.70 +3.96) AMZN says guidance going forward anticipates negative impact for forex; co says it would have been able to raise revs guidance for year by $150 mln if forex hadn't changed. Many analysts wanted more details on Amazon Prime, the cos' $79 a year memberships for free 2-day shipping, and $3.99 next-day shipping. Co says customers are doing more cross shopping and buying more, but won't give many details, such as what they are buying, what revs per user is, how many customers will convert to Prime, or even if it contributed much to Q2 growth.

Market Comments: The market is slightly lower in early trading, despite a strong durable goods report (+1.4% vs. -1.0% consensus). Last night ISRG reported blowout numbers, and this morning GRMN reported much better-than-expected earnings as well. So those two stocks are up in a sea of red (on my screen). BYD reported solid results, but the stock is getting hit nonetheless.

Maybe today we get the pullback. I took some profits yesterday, and lowered my market exposure. But I will look to add it back on weakness, as I am anticipating another push higher.



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