Friday, March 23, 2007

Morning Market Comment

I was so busy yesterday that I hadn't noticed that I passed the 100,000 mark for unique visitors. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! 100k folks passing through this tent since I put it up last November - not bad. Total clicks are closing in on nearly 200,000.

Overall stock futures flat as the likely catalyst for the market, at least in the morning, will be the 10:00 release of the used homes sales data.

Amgen (AMGN) down 4% on termination of chemo PACCE trial. A variety of analysts defending the stock this morning, but AMGN still down 4%

Amgen's failure is Imclone's (IMCL) good fortune. That stock up 20%. Citi even upgraded IMCL from Sell to Hold based on diminished threat from Amgen's Vectibix.

Nike Profit Up, But US and Margins Disappoint, Stock down 2-1/2%.

Summing up yesterday's Dodd hearing: Uh oh, this isn't going to be good for sales of Alan Greenspan's book - soon to hit store shelves.

H&R Block (HRB) - Page C1 of the Journal: Subprime Unit Proves Taxing For H&R Block. There's some good reading there.

Countrywide, IndyMac sued by homeowners
Rising from the ashes, New Century up 63% after striking a deal with Barclays.

Bank of America and UBS both downgraded PALM (PALM) to Neutral citing valuation. I'm surprised there were only 2 downgrades following that bizarre post earnings conference call. Palm down about 3%. continues to perpetuate the story about a coming deal for Palm which in and of itself is fin. But why do they use unnamed "sources" so much? Why don't they at least say if the source is a person close to the situation, investment banker, janitor, etc? Plain old "sources" is crappy reporting.

And as noted earlier this week I heard "chatter" about Kronos. Kronos has been sold for $55 to Hellman and Friedman. Next time I will have to act on such "chatter". The options accumulation was very evident last week in the March 45 calls. Amazing.

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