Friday, October 07, 2005

Payroll report better-than-expected

"Not doing more than average is what keeps the average down." - William Winans

Morning News of Note:
  • TWX MSFT: AOL-MSN Ties Are the Subject Of Revived Talks Time Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have restarted discussions about forming an alliance of their Internet units, America Online and MSN, according to people familiar with the situation. The two companies are focused on ways to combine AOL's Web content with Microsoft's search-engine technology, although other aspects of the talks are sketchy. It isn't clear, for instance, whether they are considering merging their Internet dial-up businesses, which generate lots of cash. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Refiners: Refiners Profit From a 'Disconnect' Gap Between Crude Oil And Refined Products Is Up; Valero and Others Cash In Storms and supply constraints have disconnected the prices for gasoline and home heating oil from the core value of crude. Benchmark oil futures closed yesterday at $61.36 a barrel, down from $69 the day before Hurricane Katrina began its assault on the Gulf Shore. (Full Story) WSJ
  • US Economy: RBC Oct Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household Index 66.8 vs 61.5 in Sept, expectations index 0.9 vs (13.5) in Sept; 23% rptd strong personal finances vs 28 in Sept
  • GILD: A Gilded Age for Gilead? THE GROWING WORRIES over the Avian flu and a possible pandemic appear to be giving the AIDS drug maker Gilead Sciences a shot in the arm. Though up a robust 20% over the last 12 months, the stock has twice this year recovered from big selloffs when its efforts to make a new combination AIDS drug suffered setbacks. (Full Story) BARRONS


Market Comments: The market is getting a nice bounce at the open, due to the better-than-expected jobs report. If you exclude the effects of Hurricane Katrina from the figures, it appears the economy added about 200,000 jobs. That's pretty good. Additionally, there were upward revisions to the figures from the prior two months. So this should ease some of the fears about the economy suddenly slowing.

Energy stocks sold off hard again yesterday, so it will be interesting to see what kind of bounce they can garner. Retail stocks are also getting a bid this morning. It's still early, so let's see if the market can hold onto these gains.

I was out of the office yesterday, so I apologize for the lack of posts. I'll try to make up for it today and over the weekend.

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