Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday Morning Musings

Morning News of Note:
  • ASCA AZR: Ameristar Sets $1.5 Billion Bid For Aztar, Topping Pair of Rivals Raising the stakes in what has quickly become a bidding frenzy for a prime piece of Las Vegas real estate, Ameristar Casinos Inc. yesterday made a $1.5 billion cash bid for casino operator Aztar Corp. that tops previous bids by two other gambling concerns. In a letter to Aztar, Ameristar Chairman and Chief Executive Craig Neilsen offered $42 a share for the Phoenix-based company that operates the Tropicana hotel-casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J. Ameristar also would assume Aztar's $723 million in debt. (Full Story) WSJ
  • STZ VN.T: Constellation Is Close to a Deal For Canadian Winemaker Vincor Constellation Brands Inc. was near a deal last night to purchase Canadian winemaker Vincor International Inc. for about C$1.23 billion ($1.44 billion), people familiar with the matter said. If finalized, a deal would mark a friendly turnabout to what had been months of contentious relations between the world's largest winemaker by production and Vincor, an Ontario-based company that produces such wines as Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs, and Hogue. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Hi-Def TV's: Mitsubishi Harnesses Colored Lasers to Produce New-Generation Lightweight HDTV As if shopping for new flat-panel, high-definition television is not hard enough, Mitsubishi is scheduled to announce this week that it has developed commercial television that uses colored lasers to display bright, deep images on large, thin, lightweight screens — surpassing images seen on film. The television sets, which Mitsubishi is calling the first of their kind, are expected to reach stores sometime late next year. (Full Story) NY Times
  • GM: General Motors-GM reaches agreement to sell 51% stake in GMAC for $14B. GM said it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell a 51% controlling interest in GMAC to a consortium of investors led by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a private investment firm, and including Citigroup Inc., and Aozora Bank Ltd. GM expects to receive approximately $14B in cash from this transaction over three years
  • Mad Money Summary: Cramer opened his show on Friday discussing Seitel (SELA), an unlisted stock that trades over the counter. Typically he does not recommend these type of stocks, but Seitel is a lot bigger then the average Bulletin Board stock, and has a decent trading volume. He believes in a year it will be trading on the Nasdaq. Cramer then discussed making money off of industrial automation, suggesting Emerson (EMR) and Rockwell Automation (ROK). Then Cramer analyzed Glenayre Technologies (GEMS), after reading a Morgan Stanley that said the company was going to break out. He pointed out that the company has more cash than debt and has a good balance sheet. In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Quanex (NX), Willbros Group (WG), Fluor (FLR), Coldwater Creek (CWTR), Peabody Energy (BTU), Viisage Technology (VISG), Marvell (MRVL), Broadcom (BRCM), Hansen Natural (HANS), Apache (APA), Devon Energy (DVN), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Matria Healthcare (MATR), Digital Insight (DGIN), RF Micro Devices (RFMD), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Honeywell (HON), Valero (VLO), JDS Uniphase (JDSU), Hexcel (HXL), Directed Electronics (DEIX), Ruby Tuesday (RI), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) and Headwaters (HW), and was bearish on Cogent (COGT), General Motors (GM), Tribune (TRB), Empire Resources (ERS), Wendy's (WEN) and Distributed Energy Systems (DESC).

Market Comments: Wow, talk about morning strength. Friday ended with a bout of selling, but that has reversed itself this morning and then some. Nearly all of the sectors are higher, except for biotech which is lagging. I'm not sure why the markets are so strong this early. You could say it is new inflows for the start of the new month and quarter, but that is just a guess.

Microsoft (MSFT) is nicely higher following Barron's cover story. And I am surprised Google (GOOG) has not given more back following the spike into the addition in the S&P 500 Index.

Energy is also higher, as oil hovers near $67, but so far this is not hurting stocks. And bond yields have settled down after an ititial spike to roughly 4.86%.



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