From Between the Hedges:
- Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) said May same-store sales in the US rose about 2.3%, as higher gasoline and utility prices cut into customers’ paychecks.
- Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), Intel’s only competitor in personal computer microprocessors, will spend $2.5 billion to increase output from its two German plants.
- Richard Kinder, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan(NYSE:KMI), owner of 40,000 miles of pipelines in the US and Canada, is leading a group that has proposed to buy the company for $100 a shares or about $13.4 billion.
- Japanese stocks fell after government reports on industrial production and consumer spending pointed to slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
Wall Street Journal:
- Donald Evans, former US commerce secretary, is the favorite to succeed John Snow as the nation’s treasury secretary.
- Some lawmakers say legal charges should be filed against media companies, including newspapers, for publishing classified information that harms national security.
- The US coal industry and utilities are moving ahead with plans to build power plants fueled by coal, which the US has sufficient supplies of for at least 200 years.
- The Internet Movie Database, an online guide to cinema and television, may boost its role in parent Amazon.com’s(NASDAQ:AMZN) media retail as it develops a service to download movies and same them to DVDs.
- Senator John Kerry is still fighting to prove his military record is accurate almost two years after it was challenged during his failed 2004 presidential campaign.
- Iranian President Ahmadinejad seeks to consolidate power in the presidential office with full support from Iran’s highest authority, chief cleric Ali Khamenei, in a manner unseen in the 27-year history of the Islamic republic.
- Chicago may pass an ordinance requiring large retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores(WMT) and Home Depot(NYSE:HD) to pay workers $10 an hour plus 43 an hour of benefits.
- Iran seems to be slowing its drive to enrich uranium, a sign it may be softening its position in the standoff over the country’s nuclear development or running into technical difficulties.
- When it comes to pure wealth creation – arguably the biggest motivation for the majority of hedge fund managers, times have never been better.
- Small-cap companies are expected to outpace big-caps by 4% to 5% this year on faster growth than their larger counterparts, citing Merrill Lynch’s Satya Pradhuman.
San Jose Mercury News:
- Cisco Systems(NASDAQ:CSCO) and other computer network-equipment makers may benefit if Internet service providers split their services into tiers.
- McDonald’s(NYSE:MCD) CFO Paull said the Chinese market may eventually be able to support as many as 10,000 of its restaurants, more than 13 times the number it already has there.
- Biogen Idec(NASDAQ:BIIB) can spend at least $2 billion in cash to grow in cancer and neurology markets.
- Advertising spending on the Internet may surpass spending on ads in national newspapers this year.
- A World Bank report warns that recent stock market falls have increased investor nervousness about the fragility of emerging markets.
- Rated (NASDAQ:FMCN) Overweight.
Asian indices are -.25% to +.25% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.21%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.26%.
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- Consumer Confidence for May is estimated to fall to 100.0 versus a reading of 109.6 in April.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian Indices are mostly lower, weighed down by cyclical shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open modestly lower and to rise into the afternoon, finishing mixed.