Friday Pre-market US: Key News & Data

by: Between the Hedges

From Between the Hedges:

Late-Night Headlines

- Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT) Chairman Bill Gate’s net worth has risen to $50 billion, making him the world’s richest person and widening his lead over No. 2 Warren Buffett, according to Forbes magazine’s annual survey.
- Oil prices may fall further as the end of the winter heating season leads to a decline in fuel consumption, a Bloomberg survey shows.
- China’s producer prices rose in February at the slowest pace in more than two years as the cost of steel fell.

Business Week:
- Eli Lilly(NYSE:LLY) is likely to boost profit because revenue will rise on its Byetta diabetes drug.

Kyodo Newswire:
- The short-range missiles tested this week by North Korea used upgraded technology that included the use of solid fuel to make transport easier and increase their accuracy.

China Daily:
- SigmaTel Inc.(SGTL), the world’s biggest maker of chips for MP3 players, plans to set up a subsidiary in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen this month to increase sales.

Korea Herald:
- Kia Motors Corp. is expected to announce plans for its first US plant as early as next week, with a site in southwestern Georgia the leading contender.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on (NYSE:CNO), (NYSE:STZ), (NYSE:NFP), (NYSE:RE), (NYSE:ENH) and (NYSE:AIG).
- Reiterated Underperform on (NASDAQ:HBAN) and (NASDAQ:TWMC).

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -.25% to +.75% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.02%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated unch.

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
- (NYSE:ANN)/.40
- (BOL)/1.20
- (LGN)/-.41
- (NYSE:NAT)/1.47
- (NYSE:PHH)/.52
- (NYSE:SUP)/.22

Upcoming Splits
- (NYSE:ATLS) 3-for-2
- (NASDAQ:MINI) 2-for-1
- (PD) 2-for-1

Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
- The Change in Non-farm Payrolls for February is estimated at 210K versus 193K in January.
- The Unemployment Rate for February is estimated at 4.7% versus 4.7% in January.
- The Change in Manufacturing Payrolls for February is estimated at 5K versus 7K in January.
- Average Hourly Earnings for February are estimated to rise .3% versus a .4% gain in January.

10:00 am EST
- Wholesale Inventories for January are estimated to rise .5% versus a 1.0% increase in December.

2:00 pm EST
- The Monthly Budget Deficit for February is estimated to widen to -$118.3 billion versus -$113.9 billion in January.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by exporting shares in the region on US dollar strength. I expect US equities to open modestly lower and to rise into the afternoon, finishing mixed.