Bouncing at the open
Morning News of Note:
- Housing: Cracks in the Foundation The question is no longer whether housing is slowing, but how severe the slowdown is going to be. Virtually every major report on the U.S. housing market that has come out in the past month, including yesterday's tally of October existing-home sales from the National Association of Realtors, has come in below economists' expectations. (Full Story) WSJ
- FDC: Heard on the Street... First Data Changes CEOs -- Will It Be Enough? Western Union sends billions of dollars around the world each year, but investors in its corporate parent, First Data Corp., haven't been seeing much wealth transferred to their own wallets lately. Yesterday, however, after months of frustration with the company's stock price, First Data shareholders got a boost. (Full Story) WSJ
- LVS: Las Vegas Sands Seeks $2.5 Bln Loan for China Casino Las Vegas Sands Corp., owner of the Venetian casino in Las Vegas, is seeking $2.5 billion of loans to expand in the Chinese city of Macau, which may become the world's largest gambling center by revenue this year. The financing, the largest for the region's gaming industry, will help pay for a Venetian hotel, casino resort and other projects in the Cotai Strip in Macau, the company said in a statement on PRNewswire today. The financing is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of next year. (Full Story) Bloomberg
- FPDs: AUO est global demand for LCDs may double next yr to 40m-44m units; EVP Hsiung Hui said holiday sales in US indicate prev projections have been too conservative
- Mad Money Summary: Cramer was positive on shares of Websense (WBSN) last night on his show. He said that several analysts had downgraded the stock due to valuation but he is not concerned. Cramer said that Websense has had 26 quarters of sequential revenue growth and he would buy the stock and sell Symantec (SYMC). Cramer was also bullish on South Korea and sees Shinhan Financial Group (SHG) and FormFactor (FORM) as the best ways to play it. Responding to a question, Cramer said that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) and Toyota Motor (TM) are other investments plays in Asia. Cramer said that he would buy shares of OraSure Technologies (OSUR), before "the buzz" starts. He said that shares of the company should have been up yesterday due to a positive article in the New York Times on Sunday, if it were not for the article being in the Style section. Airgas's (ARG) CEO Peter McCausland joined Cramer via telephone last night to talk about the company's buyback and outlook. Cramer ended the interview by saying "I don't want to trade it...I want to own it" and says that shares are inexpensive
Market Comments: The market is nicely higher at the open, after the durable goods report came out much stronger than expected (+3.4% vs. +1.5% consensus). Nearly all sectors are trading higher, though several retailers are not participating in the early strength.
Speaking of early strength, you know I always worry that too much early strength that fades later in the day is a sign of a weak market. So it will be interesting to see how the market closes today.