Friday, February 16, 2007

Profit Taking Ahead of Long Weekend

The markets have opened under a bit of pressure. Today is options expiration also. In addition, I would not be surprised to see a little profit taking ahead of the holiday weekend. So I am not expecting too much action today.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer threw a wet blanket on the tech sector last night when he suggested that analysts' expectations for Vista were a little high. Now, either he is just trying to lower the bar so that the company can beat expectations, or Vista really will have a slow uptake.

There was also a very weak housing figure this morning, as housing starts fell -14% in the most recent period. I am not as worried about this, as lower starts mean lower supply in the market, which should support home prices. But it doesn't help the homebuilders.

On the inflation front, overall PPI fell 0.6%, in-line with consensus, and indicative of the easing inflation pressures on the food and energy side.

In other news and notes:
  • Asian markets mixed overnight
  • Boeing to retry commercial satellites - WSJ
  • Goldman ups PEP and KO to Buy
  • Polo Ralph Lauren profiled in New America section of IBD
  • Apple, Cisco extend negotiations on iPhone name
  • Google confirms agreement to buy Adscape
  • Audiocodes initiated with a Buy at Stanford- tgt $15
  • Yahoo! Music might drop copy protection from some songs
  • ValueClick tgt raised to $33 from $23 at Kaufman
  • Honeywell announces a new $3 bln share repurchase program
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill tgt upped to $72 at RBC
  • GMarket tgt upped to $27 at RBC
  • Michigan Sentiment prelim 93.3 vs 96.5 consensus



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