Wall Street Breakfast

by: SA Editors
SA Editors
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

A one-page summary of this morning's key market- and stock-moving stories. Headlines link to the original article. Use Wall Street Breakfast as a starting point, and check the original before trading.

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MACRO

U.S. GDP Slows to 1.6% Rate in Quarter [MarketWatch.com]

Summary: During Q3, U.S. gross domestic product slowed to an annual rate of 1.6% -- below the 2% forecast by economists and the slowest in three years. The economy has grown at a glacial 2.9% overall on the year so far. The report was a pail of cold water over the head of the Dow, which has set record highs in 13 of the last 19 sessions. Stocks opened lower after the report, the dollar fell in early trading, and Treasuries advanced. The housing slowdown appears to be the main culprit: investments in housing fell 17.4% in the quarter, the steepest slide since Q1 of 1991. Consumer spending, however, accelerated 3.1%, up from 2.6% in Q2, an indicator that some maintain augurs well for the economy despite the overall growth slowdown. The trade balance was a negative (exports increased 6.5% while imports rose 7.8%) but inventories proved less of a drag than expected. The weak auto sector scarcely made a dent in the report: motor-vehicle output added 0.7% to growth and consumer spending on cars added 0.4%.
Related links: Despite the Recent Market Run-Up, I'm As Bearish As EverA Contingency Plan If the Market Breaks DownDeflating Housing Bubble = Comfy Landing for EquitiesEconomists Chalk Up Weak GDP To Housing, Praise Consumers [Wall Street Journal] • GDP Report Triggers Selloff [Wall Street Journal]

Stocks Get Lift From the Return Of U.S. Investors [Wall Street Journal]

Summary: After years of favoring foreign issues, retail investors have recently become very active in trading U.S. stocks. But data suggests that rather than switching funds from overseas markets, investors are simply moving out of cash and short-term debt and into equities. Online brokers have seen 5-9% monthly increases in trading volume. But all this new money does not necessarily bode well for U.S. stock markets: (1) There is often a post-summer seasonal jump in trading. (2) New money may be arriving "late to the party." (3) Global stock funds' assets continue to grow even as domestic trading increases. Market movement towards the end of last week should give investors pause for thought: On Friday GDP numbers came in low, often a bullish signal if it would prompt the Fed to cut interest rates, yet the markets sold off.
Related links: U.S. GDP Shows Weak 1.6% Growth in Q3Tweedy Browne Believes Not Enough Value in U.S., Broadens MandateDeflating Housing Bubble = Comfy Landing for EquitiesDespite the Recent Market Run-Up, I'm As Bearish As EverThe Market Will Correct, But Enjoy the Ride While It LastsDefending This Bull MarketRecord Short Interest Pushing Market HigherWhere Is All This Excess Liquidity Coming From?
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY), NASDAQ 100 Trust Shares ETF (QQQQ), Diamonds Trust Series 1 ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA)

AHEAD OF THE TAPE: Spend or Thrift [Wall Street Journal]

Summary: "Advice for companies looking to jump-start their stock price: Stop spending." This strategy has worked for: (1) Wal-Mart, whose stock leapt after it downsized its store expansion from 15-20% to 2-4%. (2) JetBlue whose shares jumped on its plan to slow expansion despite poor earnings. (3) Amazon.com said Tuesday it expects less money going into new initiatives, and shares gained. This may be good news for investors, but not encouraging for manufacturers who make the equipment that companies buy. But Bruce Kasman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. sees spending picking up in Q4 due to trucking companies buying more trucks before new environmental regulations make them pricier, and increasing from 6-8% next year on a strong global economy, in his words, "Solid, but not booming." WSJ has this to say, "If other companies, seeing what has happened to the shares of Wal-Mart, JetBlue and Amazon, decide that cutting into spending is a surefire way of getting their stock prices higher, there could be tough times coming for the equipment makers."
Related links: See today's Wall Street Breakfast's summary on the downsizing of the airline industry, and why JetBlue may find it harder to cutback than some of the legacy carriers • Oil majors are one group that have not yet found the impetus for capital spending cutbacks
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)

HOUSING

Cemex May Have to Raise $12.8 Billion Rinker Bid[Bloomberg]

Summary: It looks like Cemex's opening bid of $12.8 billion for Australian concrete block supplier Rinker Group Ltd. is going to have to go up. Though the bid was the highest cash offer ever for an Australian company, it's not going to be enough to cover the company's current valuation. Last week the company's stock on the Australian exchange closed at A$18.51, significantly above the Mexican company's offer of A$17 per share. Cemex's interest in Rinker stems from the latter company's strong U.S. market presence; U.S. receipts account for 80% of the Australian company's earnings. Cemex currently owns 1,000 Rinker shares. A takeover would require ownership of 90% of the company's shares. Reuters reported that Fitch Ratings and S&P downgraded Cemex after this offer, citing credit deterioration and the debt-ridden nature of the deal as significant factors. Perpetual Trustees Australia Ltd., a major shareholder in Rinker, responded to the offer with a wait-and-see attitude. Cemex denied that the company was trying to profit from Rinker's recent stock slump, which was probably induced the U.S. housing slowdown.
Related links: Cemex Cements Leadership As US Cement Shortage Worsens • Reuters: Fitch, S&P may cut Cemex's rating on takeover bid • MarketWatch.com: Rinker seen rejecting initial Cemex bid: WSJ • Reuters: Australia's Rinker rejects Cemex bid, shares soar
Potentially impacted stocks: Cemex (NYSE:CX), Rinker Group OTC (OTC:RKGPF), Rinker Group ADR (RIN)

TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNET

Optium IPO Rises 24% in Market Debut [Reuters]

Summary: In the midst of a strong push by the large U.S. telecom and cable companies to upgrade their networks in order to accommodate the growing bandwith needs being placed on their networks, Optium Corp. debuted on the NASDAQ Friday with great success. The $91 million initial public offering started trading at a 21 percent premium at $21.25 and rose as high as $22.45 before closing at $19.60, still up 12 percent from the IPO price, giving the company a total market cap of $430 million. Optium is valued at 80 times its PE ratio based on Friday's closing price; as a basis of comparison, industry competitor Agilent Technologies trades at 12 times earnings. Optium's main product line is transceivers, which send and receive digital data in communications systems; customers include Cisco, Scientific Atlanta and Ericsson.
Related links: Optical Stocks: A Mixed Bag Toward 4Q06Networking IPO: Optium files an S-1: (OPTM) • The Future of Network Processing Units Doesn't Look Too RosyOptium Corporation Initial Public Offering Priced At $17.50 Per Share [IPO Blog] • Optium Rises 12% in Debut As Tech IPOs Stay Hot [WSJ]
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Optimum Corp. (OPTM), Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) • PowerShares Dynamic Networking (NYSEARCA:PXQ), iShares Goldman Sachs Networking (NYSEARCA:IGN)

Schneider Buys Backup-Power Provider APC for $6.1 Bln [Bloomberg]

Summary: Schneider Electric SA, the world's leading producer of circuit breakers, will buy American Power Conversion Corp. for $6.1 billion to become the world's leading manufacturer of equipment which prevents electrical outages. The French-based company has agreed to pay $31 a share, 30% more than the closing price, for APCC and will fund the acquisition through the sale of bonds and 1.2 billion euros of stock. While some have claimed that the deal is too costly, Schneider sees the acquisition as an opportunity to make the transition from industrial gear production to sensors and switches which are APCC's specialty. "The deal looks expensive, but Schneider's execution on M&A has been very good and the strategic fit looks sound to us," a Merrill Lynch analyst said. The deal is expected to improve Schneider's earnings per share and will close in the first quarter of 2007 pending approval by shareholders.
Related links: Barron's Cover Story this week cites Paul Wick of the Seligman Fund on APCC, saying, "One company that the fund has less than rosy feelings about is American Power Conversion, the maker of uninterruptible power supplies. Even in the growing market for powering data centers, the company's margins are terrible," and, "Wick doesn't believe rumors that the company is a takeover candidate."
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: American Power Conversion Corp. (OTC:APCC) • Competitor: Emerson Electric Company (NYSE:EMR)

ENERGY

Chevron Continues Big Oil's Hot Streak [Business Week]

Summary: Chevron reported a $5 billion profit for the third quarter (+40%) from higher oil prices and increased production and sales. The entire sector benefited from Chevron's gain which was the third time this year the company reported a new high, beating estimates and raising its stocks 75 cents to $68.25 last Friday. Although oil prices have recently fallen, they were high for most of the quarter amid worries about a repeat of last year's hurricane season which caused one of the California-based oil company's main refineries to close down. Production increased by 152,000 barrels a day thanks to Chevron's acquisition of Unocal which has large reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea. Profits from refining oil and gasoline sales tripled from $573 million last year to $1.4 billion for the third quarter in 2006.
Related links: Oil: Prices and Producers -- Where They're HeadedOil Prices Headed Back Up After the Midterm ElectionOil Inventories On the Rise: Where's the Shortage?Chevron says California's Prop 87 could cost company $200 mln [Marketwatch] • Chevron Digs Deep [CD Decisions]
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Chevron (NYSE:CVX) • Competitors: Exxon (NYSE:XOM), BP PLC (NYSE:BP) Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) and Marathon (NYSE:MRO)

TRANSPORTATION AND AEROSPACE

HEARD ON THE STREET: 'Legacy' Airlines May Outfly Discount Rivals [Wall Street Journal]

Summary: Discount airlines, already faced with increasing competition from one another, are now faced with a threat from bigger, older airlines. These "legacy" airlines have a dual advantage: lower costs and premium overseas traffic. Discount airline JetBlue has reported a Q3 net loss and plans to reduce its fleet, while the parent of discounter AirTran Airways also reported a quarterly loss. Frontier Airlines took a sharp hit to profits and Southwest, though showing a profit, came in shy of expectations. While the discounters have furiously added seats, the legacy airlines have been reining in their growth -- a strategy that appears to have paid off; their stocks have mostly gone up thanks to higher profits or narrowed losses. They are also better equipped to survive an economic downturn than their discount competitors: they can press older aircraft back into service and drop "feeder flights" that operate through regional affiliates. The discounters' planes are too new and expensive to retire, and their geographic coverage must keep growing to keep costs down. The discounters are now busily searching out new domestic destinations in an effort to spread out their overhead. The difference between the two business models is well illustrated by AMR and JetBlue: AMR shrank Q3 capacity on nonregional routes by 2.4% from a year earlier and returned to a profit as it filled more seats; while JetBlue, which increased its Q3 capacity by 19%, showed a loss as it filled fewer seats. All the airlines, regardless of size, were stung by high fuel prices and by the FAA's ban on liquids in carry-ons this quarter, but the discounters, which operate more short-haul flights, suffered disproportionately from the latter problem.
Related links: The Jumbo Jet (Airbus) is Fast Becoming IrrelevantWhich Direction For Airline Stocks?Opportunity in Airlines, But Not For the Fainthearted
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. (FRNT), AirTran Holdings Inc. (AAI), AMR Corp. (AMR)

Hyundai 3Q Profit Falls 47 Percent and Mitsubishi Motors Reports Narrower Loss [AP]

Summary: Hyundai reported a 47% drop in net profit to 282.8 billion won ($299 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, due to strikes and a stronger won. Sales were also down, 4.2% to 5.89 trillion won ($6.23 billion). Its affiliate Kia, posted its first quarterly loss since 1998, although sales were up 8.3%. Another negative factor cited was increased advertising expenses for its 2006 World Cup Soccer sponsorship. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi benefited from a weaker yen and not having to report any restructuring charges, allowing it to narrow its quarterly loss to 16.1 billion yen ($137 million) for the fiscal first-half, compared to a loss last year of 63.8 billion yen. Its sales increased 1.4% to 1.005 trillion yen ($8.55 billion). Mitsubishi is standing by its forecast to turn profitable this fiscal year (ending March 2007), after three consecutive years of losses.
Related links: Nissan's Earnings Surprise to Upside; Sales Hurt Again by Lack of New ModelsDaimlerChrysler Might Spin Off Chrysler After Division Posts $1.5 Billion Q3 LossHonda: Sales Surge, But Earnings Hurt By Derivatives LossesGM Posts Q3 Loss But Beats Street -- Shares RiseFord Bleeds $5.8 Billion in Q3; SUV's, Foreign Competition To Blame
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: According to Morningstar.com, Hyundai Motor is 3.76% of assets of iShares MSCI S. Korea Index ETF (NYSEARCA:EWY)

RETAIL

Wal-Mart October Sales Rise 0.5% [TheStreet.com]

Summary: Wal-Mart, offering no explanation, reported an even weaker same-store-sales figure for October, 0.5%, than it did for last month, 1.3%, which was a downward revision from its 1.8% estimate. The 0.5% growth is even further from its estimates of tracking last month's 1.3%, and earlier forecasts of 2%-4%. Wal-Mart is set to issue a full October same-store-sales report on Thursday. It reports Q3 earnings November 14th. Wal-Mart's shares could face more downward pressure, after losing nearly 2% on Friday.
Related links: Wal-Mart: October 2006 Saturday Sales SummaryStrong September for Kohl's, Retailers, But Not Wal-MartWalmart Cites "Clerical Error" in Downgrading Same-Store Sales ExpectationsWal-Mart to Cut Back on CapEx, May Buy Back SharesExpansion Slowdown at Wal-Mart Could Result in "Deafening Applause"Wal-Mart Cites Strong Demand, Expanding Discount Drug Program Ahead of ScheduleWal-Mart Set to Become Largest Department Store Network in China
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Walgreen (WAG), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) • ETFs: Retail HOLDRs (NYSEARCA:RTH), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEARCA:VDC), Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEARCA:VIG), Market 2000 HOLDRs (NYSEARCA:MKH)

FINANCIAL

Credit-Default Swap Traders Anticipated Announcements of LBOs [Bloomberg]

Summary: Credit Derivatives Research LLC, a New York-based independent research group, contends in a recent study that derivatives traders may be profiting from inside information on leveraged buyouts. The tip-off was the rise -- prior to the public announcement of any deals -- of credit-default swaps based on the bonds of 30 takeover targets in 2006, including four of the year's five biggest LBOs. "Evidence shows that CDS prices are widening before public rumor or news," said Tim Backshall, a strategist at Credit Derivatives Research. "Whether it's insider trading or more informed selling is unclear." Credit-default swaps are contracts derived from bonds and loans that are used to speculate on a company's ability to repay debt. They were designed ostensibly to protect bondholders from default -- they will pay the holder face value in exchange for the underlying securities if the company fails to pay its debts -- but they have proven very attractive to speculators, since they are less expensive and more liquid than corporate bonds. Since their invention less than a decade ago, the total face value of CDS contracts worldwide has reached $26 trillion -- a faster growth rate than any other derivative. The study notes that in 2005, the cost of credit-default swaps on $10 million of Knight Ridder bonds surged 35% one day before the company's largest shareholder called for a sale in an SEC filing. Credit-default swaps on $10 million of HCA Inc. bonds rose 48% in 2 1/2 months before news broke that the hospital operator was in talks for what has turned out to be a $33 billion LBO. And the week before the New York Times reported on Sept. 11 that Freescale Semiconductor may be sold for $16 billion to an investor group, credit-default swaps based on the company's bonds rose 11%. CDS traders are essentially unregulated: neither the SEC nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] claims responsibility for their actions. The swaps themselves have become a research tool for analysts who monitor their trading activity as a means of keeping abreast of possible pending deals.
Related links: Credit Default Swaps: Underestimated RiskInsider Trading Based on Credit Default Swaps Persists -- Who Will Fill the Enforcement Vacuum?Insider Trading in Credit Default SwapsCan Anyone Police the Swaps?

Treasury Trading Draws Scrutiny [Wall Street Journal]

Summary: Zurich-based banking company UBS AG is being investigated by the SEC under suspicions its traders illegally manipulated the bond market. In addition, a bond trader at fellow Zurich-based bankers Credit Suisse recently left the firm on suspicion of irregularities in his bonds trading practices. The government inquiry into the $4 trillion treasury market has been unfolding for several weeks amid concerns traders have been limiting the supply of certain Treasury issues to the public and then profiting by lending those securities out at favorable interest rates. <sve bonds Though any improper activity that may have occurred doesn't seem to have had a big impact on interest rates - they which remain very low - government regulators aren't taking the charges lightly. Many bonds dealers counter that the actions under question often occur as part of normal trading activity. The investigation of UBS involves activity that took place in February, though it isn't clear which Treasury issues are being probed by the SEC. One possibility is a five-year Treasury note (4.25%) due in January 2011 which was in especially short supply that month. The matter has been referred to the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission and on November 6, officials from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will meet with 22 big bond dealers to discuss their concerns.
Related links: 'Copycat Syndrome' - Is There Any Difference Between Swiss Bankers Credit Suisse and UBS? Wall Street Says YesUBS Says Cooperating in U.S. Treasury Bonds Probe [Reuters] • UBS Cooperates With US SEC Probe into Treasuries Transactions [Forbes] • The Case for Bonds , and the Problem With Bond ETFs - SeekingAlpha
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS), UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) • iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond (NYSEARCA:AGG), iShares Lehman 1-3 YR Treasury Bond (NYSEARCA:SHY), iShares Lehman 7-10 YR Treasury Bond (NYSEARCA:IEF), iShares Lehman 20+ YR Treasury Bond (NYSEARCA:TLT)

Morgan Stanley to Acquire Stake in Avenue Hedge Fund [Bloomberg]

Summary: Sources in the know report Morgan Stanley will acquire almost 20 percent of Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund with $12 billion in assets that buys debt of ailing companies. The $280 million purchase is a step by Morgan to catch up with larger rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the hedge-fund ownership department. Additionally, the company may buy part of FrontPoint Partners, a Connecticut-based hedge fund. So far on the year, Avenue Capital's funds in the U.S. and Europe are up about 10 percent - impressive when compared to the many hedge funds that are underperforming the markets in FY2006. The hedge fund industry has already attracted $110.6 billion in new investments through September - considerably more than the $46.9 billion invested in all of 2005. By purchasing only a partial stake in Avenue Capital instead of the whole firm, many of Avenue's managers and traders who have made the fund successful will likely stay put since they are still invested in the firms success.
Related links: Despite Recent Stellar Performance Morgan Stanley Remains Reasonably PricedMorgan Stanley, A Solid Long Term OpportunityInvestment Banks Have Too Much Money On Their HandsCramer's Take on MSMorgan Stanley Acquires Small Commercial Bank in China
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bear Sterns (NYSE:BSC), Lehman Bros. (LEH), Merrill Lynch (MER)

INTERNATIONAL

HEARD IN ASIA: Japanese Rates Appear Steady As Consumer Prices Stay Weak [Wall Street Journal]

Summary: Japan's latest core consumer-price index for September came in lower-than-expected, with a 0.2% year-over-year increase, compared to a 0.3% rise in August. Core CPI readings include energy, but exclude fresh-food (see chart to the right). Economists had expected another 0.3% rise. Daisuke Yamazaki, a Goldman Sachs Tokyo economist, comments, "The growth in the core CPI remains weak, and if we exclude energy, prices are still declining. In this environment, it's obviously very hard for the BOJ to justify a rate increase." Japan-CoreCPI-Sept06-1yr However, a Daiwa Research Institute economist says, "The BOJ feels the current rate of 0.25% is way too low given that the Japanese economy has the potential to grow at 3% [annually] or so." Daiwa expects a BoJ rate hike in December. The BoJ's semiannual Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices report will be released tomorrow and will be scrutinized for any rate direction hints. A core CPI forecast of +0.5% is considered hawkish. Also of importance is wording on the U.S. economy and tech-sector inventory levels.
Related links: Currency Overview: Expect a Big Week for the GreenbackBoJ Keeps Rate Unchanged; Producer Prices Up SharplyN. Korea Threat Helps Japan's Exporter Stocks via Weaker YenNikkei Quietly Rallying - Expect a Repeat of '05?BoJ Deputy Governor Hints at Possible Rate Hike by Year's EndSignificance of the Surprisingly Weak Yen
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE:MTU), Nomura Holdings (NYSE:NMR), iShares MSCI Japan Index ETF (NYSEARCA:EWJ)

ACTIONABLE BARRON'S CALLS

Barron's articles likely to move stocks today, excerpted from Seeking Alpha's Barron's One-Page Summary

  • The tech sector: Corporate buyers indicate they will increase spending at the same 6-8% rate of the past few years, but tech-spending growth has exceeded that pace in recent months. Data storage and application software look particularly strong. Paul Wick's Seligman Communications and Information Fund is up 16% this year and has one of the best records among large tech funds in recent years. He thinks McAfee Inc. (MFE) may be a buyout target in the wake of its options difficulties. He's also bullish on ASML Holding NV (NASDAQ:ASML), Cymer Inc. (NASDAQ:CYMI), KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ:KLAC), Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ:SYMC) and Synopsys Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS). Bearish stocks include: American Power Conversion Corp. (OTC:APCC), Avici (AVCI), Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) [overleveraged], Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Netease.com Inc. (NASDAQ:NTES), The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT), Knot Inc. (KNOT) and WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD). [Related: APCC announced today it was being bought out by Schneider Electric SA.]
  • PowerShares argues its PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China ETF (NYSEARCA:PGJ) is safer than iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FXI) since its stocks all trade on U.S. exchanges, which have stricter reporting requirements. But Tim Halter, whose index PGJ tracks, has a habit of 'reverse-mergering' companies in return for stock (reverse-merger stocks are acutely sensitive to manipulation), and Halter's firm has sold stocks after boosting prices through their inclusion in its index. PGJ is up 20% this year, while FXI is up 37%.
  • Royal Dutch Shell's recent offer to buyout minority shareholders of Shell Canada for $7B (20x earnings) put a hefty valuation on Alberta oil sands, and was met with enthusiasm by CanArgo Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:CNR) investors. CNR could be a takeover target from a larger player like BP PLC (BP) or ENERSIS SA (ENI) that lack oil sands exposure. "The shares could hit the 60s (now $53) in a year and go much higher in the long run."
  • Despite Tellabs Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TLAB) disappointing revenue outlook for the fourth quarter, "the next three years look bright. The shares could climb more than 40% over that span."
  • Dell Inc. (DELL) shares have fallen 23% this year and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) is up 34.4%. But Dell stock has garnered the attention of some of the most respected institutional investors, who believe the marketplace's deeply skeptical attitude toward Dell is too extreme to be accurate. Some have begun to sense a turnaround in the next year or two. A good entry point into Dell stock may be after the October 31 tax-loss selling point, as fund managers write off their Dell losses to offset gains.
  • DaimlerChrysler (DCX) reported a Q3 $1.5B loss, and has traded flat in 2006 while nearly every other car maker has seen significant gains. "DaimlerChrysler (DCX) shares are likely to be dead money right now. And they're likely to stay that way until definitive signs emerge of a Chrysler comeback or a corporate divorce."
  • Blair Levin, Managing Director of Stifel Nicolaus and veteran telecom and media expert, believes the most important issue facing telecom/media investors in the near future is that of direct-broadcast satellite [DBS]. Levin's "best guess is that a telco buys a DBS player and the most likely deal will be AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) buying EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH)." About Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) he says this: "There has never been a company that has threatened as many business models as Google: newspapers, magazine publishers, television broadcasters, radio broadcasters, cable companies, telephone companies -- and none of them is Google's natural competitor."

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MUST-READS ON SEEKING ALPHA TODAY

Macro: Actual GDP Even Worse Than Reported
Long idea: CarMax's Impressive Growth? We Believe They're Just Getting Started
Short idea: Akamai: Lots of Froth on This Lemonade
IPO analysis: Gatehouse Media Bucks the Trend
Sound money tips: Weekend Round-Up: (Almost) All Hallow’s Eve
Currency markets: Expect a Big Week for the Greenback
Retail: A Healthy Transition at Kellogg
Jim Cramer: Latest stock picks.
Earnings conference call transcripts: ChevronQuestarExelonAlltelAvon

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