Thursday, May 04, 2006

Retail Sales Impress

Morning News of Note:
  • TGT: Heard on the Street... Shoppers Flock to Target, But Not Investors Style-conscious bargain hunters love Target, but investors prefer to shop elsewhere. By almost every measure, Target Corp. is a retailing darling. The Minneapolis-based discounter lures shoppers with its smart-looking products, name-brand designers, airy aisles and affordable prices. Last year, Target racked up a 5.6% gain on sales at stores open at least a year. (Full Story) WSJ
  • XOM: Drilling for Best Large-Cap Oil Stock FOR THOSE STEWING ABOUT the big profits of the big oil companies, the best revenge may be to invest in them. These companies offer safety for conservative investors, with their combination of refining and exploration businesses. When oil prices fall, they tend to produce more consistent earnings than pure plays on exploration, services or refining. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • AAPL: Silent recall issued for some MacBook Pro batteries The problem appears to affect MacBook Pro models with serial numbers up to W8608, suggesting that only those notebooks manufactured during the first two weeks of MacBook Pro production are potentially affected. Apple has reportedly issued a silent recall of batteries showing symptoms that include: the battery level going from a full charge to 90 percent then immediately to no charge; the battery's charge instantly depleting to a single blinking LED; the battery failing to respond at all; or the battery experiencing any other sizable loss of capacity. (Full Story) Apple Insider
  • LCDs: Digitimes reports LCD TV inventory levels in Europe have surged to 6-8 weeks due to strong demand expectations for the World Cup, while inventory levels in the North America market are remaining at normal levels (four to six weeks), according to Eric Wu, head of iSuppli Taiwan. Although demand for LCD TVs in Europe is expected to pick up due to the upcoming sport event, current demand remains lower than expected, Wu indicated. Among the LCD TV inventory, the 32-inch segment is piling up the quickest, as panel makers are ramping capacity at their sixth-generation (6G) plants, explained Wu.
  • SNDK: EE Times reports SanDisk has struck a deal with Philips Semiconductors to embed the Philips SmartMX smartcard controller chip in certain types of flash memory cards to allow them to be used for near-field communications and in particular, when the cards are inserted in mobile phones, to pay for things. The co said the SmartMX would be embedded in TrustedFlash cards allowing consumers to use their phones as bus or train tickets and perform secure "contactless" payments and other contactless transactions by simply waving their phones near a contactless reader in a mass transit turnstile, checkout counters or drive-through windows.
  • Mad Money Summary: Cramer opened his show Wednesday discussing oil. He focused on three oil technology companies that he says are "the lifeblood of the oil technology industry," Core Laboratories (CLB), Dawson Geophysical (DWSN) and FMC Technologies (FTI). Cramer then discussed a Russian stock, Gazprom (GAZP.RU). He said Gazprom is a large, corrupt oil and gas company but owns the largest oil field in the world. In the "Lightning Round," Cramer was bullish on KFx (KFX), Blockbuster (BBI), Goldcorp (GG), Powerwave Technologies (PWAV), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY), Crystallex International (KRY), Agco (AG), Headwaters (HW), Schlumberger (SLB), National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Consol Energy (CNX), Peabody Energy (BTU) and Brown Shoe (BWS), and was bearish on Plug Power (PLUG), King Pharmaceuticals (KG), Broadcom (BRCM), ConAgra (CAG), Imax (IMAX), Bronco Drilling (BRNC) and Steve Madden (SHOO)

Market Comments: The market has opened on a very strong note this morning. Retail sales were stronger than expected (check back for my roundup), for the most part, and the producivity numbers released this morning were solid also.

Oil is trading down again today, which might help the market. Bond yields are flat right now, which is how I would like them to stay for a little while.

In the woulda coulda department, a stock I have liked but never pulled the trigger on is EXPD. The company reported great earnings and the stock is ramping 18% this morning. doh! Another stock that we used to own but sold last year is WFMI. That stock is also rallying nicely on solid earnings.

long XOM,


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