Retail Sales Not As Bad As Feared
Morning News of Note:
- Natural Gas: New York Gas Falls a 3rd Day, Below $10, on Warmer U.S. Weather...Natural gas futures in New York fell to their lowest in four months, before hurricanes destroyed Gulf of Mexico platforms, on forecasts for mild U.S. winter weather. Gas futures dropped below $10 per million British thermal units for the first time since Aug. 26, when Hurricane Katrina was approaching the U.S. Demand for the fuel may decline after the National Weather Service said temperatures will be above average across most of the U.S. for the next six-to-10 days. (Full Story) Bloomberg
- GOOG: Google to Offer Video Downloads, Software That Rivals Microsoft's...Google Inc. plans to announce Friday that it will begin allowing consumers to buy videos from major content partners through the Google site and will also roll out a new downloadable bundle of software for consumers that could heighten Google's competition with Microsoft Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Under the major upgrade to Google's video-search service, consumers will be able to pay to download and view videos, such as television shows, on their computers from Google content partners such as TV companies, people familiar with the matter say. Google plans to announce partnerships with some major players tomorrow, including CBS Corp. and the National Basketball Association, these people say. By virtue of Google's huge presence online, the move could place Google in competition with other emerging powers in Internet distribution of video such as Apple Computer Inc. (Full Story) WSJ
- PALM: PALM to offer over 25 accessories for the new Treo 700w Smartphone The accessories include a Bluetooth headset, a Wi-Fi card and a GPS solution.
- MNST: Monster Employment Index declines to 145 in December The Monster Employment Index was 149 in November
Market Comments: The market is up again at the open, as the retail sales reports were not as bad as many feared. The ISM Index came in at 59.8 vs. 59.0 consensus. And yields on the 10-year are just under 4.35%. The bond market sure isn't as worried about rising inflation as the equity markets.
The SPX is thisclose to making a new high. The SPX first hit 1270 back on November 23rd. Since then, it has bascially been consolidating in choppy, sideways action. That lends more credibility to a breakout here, since the market has spent time working off its overbought condition and is now less extended.