Thursday, December 7, 2006

12/7/2006 Morning Market Comment

It's like deja vu all over again, with a very familiar setup this morning: stock futures are modestly higher. It was a dull trading session yesterday, the markets held in check with a slight downward bias as everyone awaits the non farm payrolls data due tomorrow. Jobless claims fell by 34k, as expected, but the 4 week moving avg of claims is now at its highest point in six months.

Yesterday afternoon we noted that $632 was looking like a likely target for some technical testing for gold, and to the penny it was tested last night and held. The metal has since rebound back to the $636 level with the Euro up 26 ticks at $1.3373 vs the dollar. The ECB raised another quarter point today (all but expected), while the Bank of England left its key rate unchaged. More later on Trichet's outlook which will be an important piece of the puzzle in tomorrow's overall dollar/gold reaction to the U.S. employment data.

Hershey (HSY) warned on 2006 guidance and its shares are down 3%. While it was looking at stock options grants, Home Depot (HD) says it found unrecorded expenses of $200 mln; its stock is down 1%. We will continue to hold our BSX calls.. the FDA 2 day meeting on drug coated stents is underway in lovely Gaithersburg, Maryland. And, we think something got lost in translation on this Dell story out of Taiwan.

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