Transit Strike Not Over Yet
Morning News of Note:
- EBAY AMZN OSTK: Senators propose taxing Internet shopping This may be the last holiday season to enjoy tax-free Internet shopping, thanks to new legislation in the U.S. Congress. Two bills introduced Wednesday propose sweeping changes to how Americans are taxed for online and mail order purchases. Businesses initially would be required to collect sales taxes on purchases shipped to roughly half of the country, and that percentage is expected to rapidly increase. (Full Story) CNET
- PCs: PC Industry Braces For Weaker Sales Next Year Personal-computer sales this year are headed for their weakest gain since 2001, according to the latest shipments data, and some industry executives worry that PC sales next year could be worse. This year's estimated 6% increase in home-PC unit sales, down from a 10% gain last year, reflects increasing competition for consumer dollars from flat-panel televisions, experts say. TVs are pinching sales of midpriced PCs, and expected price cuts in the flat-panel offerings could make the PC business even tougher in 2006, they say. (Full Story) WSJ
- Alaska Oil: Senate Approves Cuts, but Not Drilling Cheney Breaks Tie on Budget Measure; Democrats Block Arctic Oil Provision Senate Republicans, by the narrowest margin yesterday, pushed through a major budget measure that would trim federal spending by nearly $40 billion over five years, but they were stymied by Democrats in their effort to open Alaska's wilderness to oil drilling. Vice President Cheney took his seat as president of the Senate just past 10:30 a.m. to cast the tie-breaking vote on a hard-fought budget bill that would allow states to impose new fees on Medicaid recipients, cut federal child-support enforcement funds, impose new work requirements on state welfare programs and squeeze student lenders -- all for the purpose of slowing the growth of federal entitlement programs. (Full Story) Washington Post
- EBAY: Co announces that Matt Carey will join the co as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for eBay Marketplaces, effective Feb 1, 2006. Carey, who brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, will report to John Donahoe, President of eBay Marketplaces. Carey comes to eBay from Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) where he was Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and was with Wal-Mart for more than 20 years.
- GILD: Bird Flu Sends Investors to Gilead: Taking Stock U.S. stock investors who foresee an outbreak of avian influenza are buying vaccine makers including Gilead Sciences Inc. and preparing to sell travel- related businesses and companies dependent on Asian suppliers. ``It doesn't take a full-fledged pandemic to affect the markets,'' said Joseph Besecker, who oversees $2 billion as president of Emerald Asset Management Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. ``This disease merits our consideration.'' (Full Story) Bloomberg
Market Comments: Rumors that the New York transit strike would end this morning proved unfounded. The news had the market trading higher near the open. Yesterday, the market trailed off a bit into the close, even though it still finished up for the day. Can we get two in a row?
Anecdotal data out of retailing is that promotional activity is running at fairly high levels, and the accompanying markdowns is not good for the stocks. JMP Securities upped their target on GOOG to $575 this morning.
Oil is trading up a little, but still below $59. 10-year yield is lower at 4.44%.