Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Will The Early Lift Stick?

Morning News of Note:
  • CYMI: With semiconductor sales growing at a healthy clip, so too is demand for the gear used to make them. The latest upturn in the chip cycle started around mid-2005 and has gained steam this year. In the first quarter worldwide sales grew 7.3% from the prior year to $59.1 billion, says the Semiconductor Industry Association. The group's November forecast sees this year's annual sales up 7.9% to $245.5 billion. (Full Story) IBD
  • DELL: Dell Plans to Open Pilot Stores, But Orders Stay on Phone, Web After years of resistance, computer maker Dell Inc. plans to open two pilot retail locations. The company is known for relying on orders placed by phone or on the Web. In recent years, the Round Rock, Texas, company has opened about 160 kiosks in U.S. shopping malls, to let customers see and try out some Dell products, though they must still place purchase orders electronically while at the kiosk or at home. (Full Story) WSJ
  • C: Financial Times reports the co is in talks with China Life (LFC) and other Chinese companies about joining its bid for a controlling stake in Guangdong Development Bank, after the central govt refused to relax foreign investment rules for the sale. Having a powerful partner such as LFC, the country's largest life assurer, would help the co stay in the race for debt-laden GDB, the first Chinese bank to offer a majority stake to a foreign-led consortium. However, it is unclear whether the co will succeed in striking an agreement with LFC, with which it has been in discussions for some weeks. The co, which originally bid for 85% of GDB together with US buy-out fund Carlyle and a state-owned food company, had planned to take a 40% stake in GDB itself as part of the deal. But the bid breached China's existing rules governing overseas stakes in local banks, which set a ceiling of 25% for all foreign investors and 20% for a single entity
  • COP: ConocoPhillips-COP in refinery deal with Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabian Oil Company and ConocoPhillips signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding to conduct a detailed evaluation for the proposed development of a 400,000 barrel-per-day, full-conversion refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
  • Mad Money Summary: Cramer opened his show discussing his top five buyback stocks. The fifth was Nokia (NOK), the fourth was a tie between CBS (CBS) and News Corp (NWS), the third was a tie between Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), the second was Chevron (CVX), and the first was Sears (SHLD). Then Cramer declared bird flu dead and said it's time to buy chicken. He recommended Sanderson Farms (SAFM). Marketwatch columnist Herb Greenberg then came on the show and challenged Cramer's "love affair" with Sears. Greenberg was concerned that Sears 10-Q filing was not released with its earnings, which Cramer brushed off. Both Greenberg and Cramer agreed that it was best to avoid United Online (UNTD). Cramer then discussed CACI International (CAI), which he said was a takeover target for BAE Systems and has solid financials. In the "Lightning Round," Cramer was bullish on (BIDU), Yahoo! (YHOO), Con Edison (ED), VeriFone Holdings (PAY), Immucor (BLUD), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), Kinder Morgan (KMI), BE Aerospace (BEAV), Brocade (BRCD), Finisar (FNSR), JDSU (JDSU) and Crystallex International (KRY), and was bearish on Alliant Energy (LNT), Dynamic Materials (BOOM), Suntech Power Holdings (STP), Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI), MDU Resources (MDU), Elan (ELN) and Allegheny Technologies (ATI).

Market Comments: Lots of crosscurrents this morning. The 10-year yield plunged on the weak durable goods report (-4.8%), but then bounced back on a stronger than expected new home sales report. Interestingly, the yield also bounced off of its 50-day average.

Stocks opened a bit weak, but quickly reversed and are trading higher. Semis are getting a nice bounce, as well as biotechs and homebuilders.

MDT reported solid earnings last night, and the stock looks like it may have put in a bottom.

GOOG is also trading higher, after RBC said that the weakness they were worried about does not look like it is going to materialize, and they would be buyers at current levels.

long GOOG, MDT


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