From Between the Hedges:
- Borrowing by US consumers rose by the most in 10 months in April as Americans took out more car loans and charged more of their credit cards.
- Crude oil fell for a third day in NY as Iran considered incentives to end the country’s nuclear research and a report showed US oil and gas stockpiles increased.
- The US dollar rose for a third day against the euro, the longest rally since March, as Federal Reserve officials signaled they may raise interest rates this month to keep inflation contained.
- Porsche AG, the carmaker with the highest profit margins in the world, went from 32nd place to first in a leading auto-quality survey.
- The US House today passed a bill to raise maximum fines 10-fold against broadcasters for airing indecent material, sending the measure to President Bush to be signed into law.
- South Korea’s central bank unexpectedly increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter percentage point to 4.25%, a three-year high.
- Walt Disney(DIS) has started licensing fresh fruit in European food retailers.
- Goldman Sachs Group(GS) may raise over $10 billion for a new private equity fund.
Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
- None of note
Asian Indices are -2.50% to -1.0% on average. Nikkei down 3%
S&P 500 indicated -.25%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.18%.
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- Initial Jobless Claims are estimated to fall to 330K versus 336K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 2425K versus 2433K prior.
10:00 pm EST
- Wholesale Inventories for April are estimated to rise .5% versus a .2% gain in March.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are sharply lower, pressured by commodity and technology stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open lower and to rise modestly into the afternoon, finishing slightly lower.