Friday, September 21, 2007

Morning Market Buzz 9/21/07

It's quadruple witching today featuring the expiration of four types of equity options and futures. Four Fed officials are also delivering speeches today.

Ahead of the open, stock futures are indicating an upward move. As noted a few days back by way of the Goldman Sachs comment on the markets, the bias going into expiration because of the configuration of put and call option open interest was signaling a bullish bias to this quad witch Friday.

Better than expected earnings late yestterday are also helping sentiment this morning.

Nike (NKE) posted an earnings rise of 51% with a per share earnings beat of 5-cents a share.
Oracle (ORCL) profit rose 25 percent, enabling it to beat the street by 1-cent per share.

On the Fed-speak circuit, Fed governor Mishkin has already delivered his chat in Germany: Fed's Mishkin: Downturns always linked to turmoil. Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn also gave a talk in Germany where he disputes notion of Greenspan or Bernanke 'put'. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and Fed Governor Kevin Warsh are also due to speak later today. Likely none of them will offer any specific clues about whether the Fed lowers again in October, or waits until December.

Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan continues to do the interview circuit for his top selling book: House prices to drop much lower: Greenspan.

Other quick news and notes in the day ahead...

-Bear Stearns in talks over minority stake sale; Asian interest ...

-Noble chairman, CEO, president resigns. Jeffries says the resignation makes NE a more likely takeover target, with SeaDrill being a highly likely suitor.

-On the Google front: Google: Mortgage Ads Are Down -- Except For Ours. AmTech Research this morning reiterates a buy in reaction to these comments, expecting the stock to "trend higher". One other Google note from Google Apps Packing a Punch.

-Can you believe this? Northern Rock turned down JP Morgan rescue proposal

-News you don't see often in this part of the world: Shell to begin $7 bln Port Arthur refinery expansion Full Article

-GM, UAW to resume talks later Friday
-Kraft’s Post first-round bids due this week, sources say

-Merrill downgrades both Barrick (ABX) and Agnico (AEM) to Neutral from Buy citing valuation.

Scanning other markets:
-Dollar Heads for Third Weekly Loss Against Euro on Rate Outlook
-10 year Treasury is up 2-ticks following 2 days of slump.
-Gold Climbs to 27-Year High as Investors Seek Inflation Hedge
-UPDATE 3-Oil eases but Gulf of Mexico storm support

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