Thursday, March 16, 2006

More Early Strength

Morning News of Note:
  • VOD: Equity Firms Ready Rival Bid For Vodafone Unit Two buyout firms last night were preparing to make a roughly $15 billion bid for Vodafone Group PLC's Japanese mobile subsidiary, people familiar with the situation said. Cerberus Partners LP and Providence Equity Partners Inc. have been racing in recent days to secure financing for the bid, people close to the situation said. Vodafone is already in talks to sell the Japanese unit to Softbank Corp., one of Japan's largest Internet providers. (Full Story) WSJ
  • NDAQ / London Stock Exchange: Heard on the Street... London Call: Are LSE's Shares Undervalued? Shares in London Stock Exchange PLC have nearly doubled since the start of the year, thanks largely to Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.'s proposal last week to acquire the centuries-old market for $4.2 billion. But by one measure, at least, LSE's suddenly lofty shares don't seem expensive -- Nasdaq's own stock, which trades at a far higher valuation. (Full Story) WSJ
  • RIMM: Some BlackBerry users frustrated by outages Research In Motion confirmed Wednesday that several BlackBerry customers service experienced outages this week due to a software upgrade, which was the feared outcome if RIM had been forced to implement its workaround technology. Several customers with Cingular, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint's Nextel service reported delays, outages and problems with their BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS, starting early this week and continuing through Wednesday. A Cingular customer told CNET that his carrier support representatives were pointing to an issue with RIM's servers--a diagnosis that a Cingular representative confirmed. (Full Story) CNET
  • Copper: A Red-Hot Desire for Copper With demand for copper sending prices higher, there is a worry for everyone from mining companies to microwave-oven makers: the lack of new mother lodes to tap. In the 1990s, Chile emerged as the Saudi Arabia of copper. An era of political stability there enabled foreign and domestic companies to extract epic deposits of minerals, flooding the globe with supply. (Full Story) WSJ
  • GOOG: Google-GOOG will offer retailers a "base" to reach online consumers-FT. Google (GOOG) is creating services for the European retail industry that will allow them to sell and market their goods more easily online. Google is positioning itself to access retailers internal database of products and prices, then categorize them and make them available to online consumers who are searching the web. The project is expected to appeal to large retailers who have not yet invested in their own internet retailing presence and have a desire to be competitive in the online shopping arena

Market Comments: The market is higher in early trading, but I have reservations about another strong day. I would think some rest is in order. The CPI report came in better than expectations this morning, and that is helping bonds rally, pushing the 10-year yield down to 4.67%. That is a big positive for the market.

The US military is launching new air strikes in Iraq, so that could cause a little worry too, at least on the geopolitical front. There is a lot of talk about Iraq, Iran, and the low poll ratings for Bush.

But let's keep our eyes on the market, and look for new breakouts and new leadership.

long GOOG


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