Thursday, January 25, 2007

Morning Market Comment 1/25/07

I had wondered last night whether the swarm of earnings this morning would change yesterday's exhuberant Wall Street picture this morning, and it has to a degree. Stock futures are indicating a mixed open. Following eBay's better than expected numbers and rally that has the stock up over 12% this morning, Ford (F) posted a loss for all of last year totaling $12.7 bln. $5.8 bln of the loss was racked up in the 4th quarter for heavy duty restructuring of its North American operations. Ford shares are down 1%. Company's like Lockheed (LMT) and Nokia (NOK) beat the street and are higher. Peabody (BTU) also beat, but is lower on a lowered 2007 forecast.

This email alert from the Journal: "Blackstone raised its offer for Equity Office to $54 a share in cash, 11% higher than its previous bid. The deal, regarded as the largest leveraged buyout in history, is now valued at about $38.3 billion, including debt. Blackstone previously offered to pay $48.50 a share for the office-property landlord." EOP up another 3%.

Zen continues to have an excellent handle on the market picture:

At 10 this morning existing home sales are due. Economists are estimating an annual pace of 6.25 mln for December. I wonder if the numbers will be skewed by the recent warm weather? Jobless claims jumped in the latest reporting week from 290k to a higher than expected 325k.

March EuroFX is up 10 points. The yen also rallied against the dollar after a BOJ board member said an interest rate increase shouldn't be delayed.

Crude holding on to a gain of 13 cents following more OPEC comments yesterday that no special meetings will be held. Kuwait's minister even said a $55 basket price is fine with them. Nat gas down another 2% on sell the fact that coldest day of the season in the northeast arrives Friday.

Gold on the rise again, trading as high as $654.80... really a test of the $650 level... how long it can stay above $650 and whether it can close above $650.

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