Monday Morning Musings
Morning News of Note:
- MSFT VZ VOD AAPL: Calling All iPods TWO FIENDS ARE GRABBING at the halo of Apple's iPod. They are Microsoft and Verizon Wireless, and on Jan. 16 they'll start their cellphone assault on the portable music miracle that canonized Apple Computer (ticker: AAPL) in the eyes of Wall Street. Sales of the iPod rose 250% in Apple's fiscal year ended September. With the digital music player on everyone's holiday wish list, Apple's music-related sales probably accounted for half of the company's total revenues in the just-completed December quarter. Apple was the best tech stock in 2005, rising 123%. It closed Friday at an all-time high of 76.30. (Full Story) BARRONS
- BBY: A Headline Sings a Happy New Year THE YEAR-END RALLY that wasn't became a four-day New Year's party for stocks in the first week of 2006. Last year, the market immediately took a spill in its first week after having sprinted to new heights into the end of 2004. But with the latest turn of the calendar, the indexes followed their late-December stagnation with an energetic rally, with refreshed hope of an end to Federal Reserve rate increases as the undisputed excuse for the buying. (Full Story) BARRONS
- SIRI: MORE HOWARD LAUNCH ADS SCARCE IN BID TO BOOST DEMAND Sirius Satellite Radio is selling just a handful of ads during shock jock Howard Stern's show in hopes of pumping up demand and eventually prices. The satellite broadcaster is telling advertisers it will air no more than six commercials an hour to avoid clutter and keep audiences tuned in. (Full Story) NY Post
- BSX GDT: Boston Scientific Formalizes Bid To Buy Guidant Boston Scientific Corp. made a formal offer to buy Guidant Corp. for $72 a share, and said it had found a buyer for several Guidant units -- a move that it expects will allow for quicker antitrust clearance if its offer is accepted. The formal bid, valued at $25 billion in cash and stock, takes the Natick, Mass., medical-device company one step closer to becoming one of the world's largest cardiac-device makers. (Full Story) WSJ
- ISRG: Intuitive Surgical-ISRG target raised on bullish survey and robotic conf-Buy@DBAB The firm is raising its target to $135 from $90 as the results from their proprietary survey suggest that the "number of robotic surgery procedures could increase by 50% over the next 12 months."
- WMT: Wal-Mart Stores-WMT sees January comps up 3%-5%
Market Comments: The market popped higher at the open, but has faded back since. URBN got a couple of upgrades, and is getting a nice bounce. Biotechs are also higher, along with select tech (SNDK, PLAY). Energy and financials are mixed.
Oil is still hovering around $64, and 10-year yields are flat at 4.38%. Mighty low. I wouldn't be surprised to see a little pullback in the market at some point this week, but I have a feeling dip buyers will be there for support. Happy trading.
long MSFT, WMT