Wednesday Pre-market US: Key News & Data

by: Between the Hedges

From Between the Hedges:

Late-Night Headlines

- Merck Inc.(NYSE:MRK) has cut the price for its Stocrin AIDS drug by 20% in developing countries.
- Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group purchased the rights to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s book on the world economy and its future for an undisclosed amount.
- Google Inc.(NASDAQ:GOOG) said it mistakenly posted a revenue forecast in notes prepared ahead of a meeting last week. The estimate would trail some projections.
- Prudential Financial(NYSE:PRU) may buy Allstate’s(NYSE:ALL) variable annuities unit for as much as $750 million.
- Japan’s bank lending rose for the first time in more than nine years, adding to evidence that deflation is ending in the world’s second-biggest economy.
- The US House, by a vote of 280-138, passed a new version of the USA Patriot Act, removing the last barrier to renewal of the law that gave the FBI expanded powers to investigate terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks.
- Namco Bandai Holdings, Japan’s second-biggest toys and game software maker, said Sony(NYSE:SNE) won’t be able to release its PlayStation 3 console as scheduled this spring.

Financial Times:
- Gillette’s new Fusion razor, which went on sale four weeks ago, has accounted for 55% of new razor purchases.

Automotive News:
- Mississippi is offering $240 million in federal tax breaks for Kia Motors to build an assembly plant as the US state tries to lure investment after the ravage left by Hurricane Katrina.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Outperform on (NASDAQ:STX), (NASDAQ:SYMC) and (NASDAQ:MRVL).

Night Trading
Asian Indices are -1.0% to -.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated -.02%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated -.18%.

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
- (ASVI)/.24
- (NYSE:DYN)/-.12
- (GMST)/-.05
- (HUG)/.46
- (NYSE:L)/.04
- (NASDAQ:MIK)/.85
- (BATS:REM)/.36
- (WIND)/.12

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
- None of note

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are lower, led down by technology and energy shares in the region. I expect US equities to open lower and to rally into the afternoon, finishing slightly lower.