Friday Pre-Market: Key News & Data

by: Between the Hedges

[See also: Friday Morning View From Europe]

From Between the Hedges:

Late-Night Headlines

- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran, which the US accuses of planning to make a nuclear bomb, is willing to comply with any decision the UN takes if the resolution is based on international rules.
- Clearwire Corp., a high-speed wireless company founded by cell-phone pioneer Craig McCaw, plans to raise as much as $400 million in an IPO.
- Congress passed a $69 billion measure to extend lower tax rates on dividends and most capital gains and prevent 15 million households from facing the alternative minimum tax. President Bush said he will sign it into law.

- A purported videotape by an al-Qaeda operative appealed to Muslims to avenge the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad by attacking targets in Denmark, France and Norway.

- Four private-equity firms will join investors led by Grupo Televisa SA to bid an undisclosed amount for Univision Communications(Pending:UVN), the largest Spanish-language television network in the US.

Financial Times:
- Some commodity traders are being paid fees in excess of $1 million to join trading desks due to a lack of experienced candidates to meet hiring demand.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Business Week:
- Hilton Hotels(NYSE:HLT) may benefit because outlooks for demand, supply and pricing are positive, citing Robert LaFleur of Susquehanna Financial Group.
- The shares of Champion Enterprises(CHB) may rise as much as 22%, said Avondale Partners’ Barbara Allen.
- Patterson Companies(PDCI), the second-largest North American supplier of products to dentists and their labs, is undervalued and could attract a buyout offer, analysts said.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -2.0% to -1.0% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.02%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.02%.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Global Commentary
Asian Indices
European Indices
Top 20 Business Stories
In Play
Bond Ticker
Daily Stock Events
Macro Calls
Rasmussen Consumer/Investor Daily Indices
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate
- (BOL)/1.20
- (DRS)/.75
- (NYSE:LAB)/.15
- (TRY)/-.05

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- The trade deficit for March is estimated to widen to -$67.0B versus -$65.7B in February.
- The Import Price Index for April is estimated to rise 1.2% versus a .4% decline in March.
- The Preliminary Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence for May is estimated to fall to 86.0 versus a reading of 87.4 in April.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are sharply lower, weighed down by automaker and technology stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to trade modestly higher into the afternoon, finishing mixed.

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