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Daily Reports @ WJR

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WJR August 2001 reports

July 30, 2001

We'll clean up most of the rest of corporate earnings reports this week. By the end of the week, 90% of the S&P 500 will have reported. So far, lowered expectations have largely been met, but guidance for future profits has been less than exciting.

If fast laptop computers get you excited, today may be your day. Intel will reportedly roll out a 1.3 gigahertz Pentium 3 chip for laptop computers, just in time for that Microsoft XP rollout in the fall.

Speaking of Microsoft, they're a little upset that AOL Time Warner is looking to acquire AT&T Broadband. Microsoft is looking to block the deal, saying that it would give AOL a dominant position in the cable business, and Microsoft knows a couple things about dominant positions in important lines of business.

Disney reports earnings today. No big economic reports are due. Japan closed overnight at a 16 year low.

Futures are fairly quiet, but slightly positive. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 1, Dow futures up 16 and the Nasdaq futures 9 points above fair value.

July 20, 2001

This concept of odd/even, , watering of the lawn seems to have spread to the stock market. With your lawn, it's one day green, one day brown. With the market this week, it's been one day green, one day red. Yesterday was a green day, but today, it looks like the water's been turned off.

A bunch of big problems today: Microsoft reported last night. Microsoft has historically been very cautious about their guidance -- they have consistently put a damper on their predictions of future earnings. Well, after getting everybody excited last week about better than expected sales in the past quarter, they say that the next quarter's earnings will be less than analysts expect.

One of the bright spots for all of us during the past few months has been the dramatic decline in oil prices. Don't look now, but OPEC says they are poised to take action to boost oil prices, and that's about the last thing we need right now.

DaimlerChrysler returned a worldwide profit. The Chrysler unit still lost money, but far, far less than they lost in the previous quarter.

We're likely to sell-off at the open. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 7,, Dow futures off 65 and the Nasdaq futures 34 points below fair value.

July 19, 2001

Earnings reports rolled in yesterday, pretty much as expected. But companies that think business will get better soon are few and far between. It's that lack of earnings visability that kept stock prices in the dumper.

We tried to rally a few times yesterday during Alan Greenspan's testimony before the members of the House of Representatives. Mr. Greenspan was pretty straightforward in his comments. He said that the Fed was just about done cutting rates, but will cut again if necessary, and he was again remarkably patient with a number of questions from some House members who well let's say, must have majored in histrionics as opposed to economics.

Last night, IBM hit its quarterly earnings, but was very cautious about the rest of the year. Nokia reported this morning at the high end of expectation, said that they don't have much of a clue what the rest of the year holds, but they think that 2002 will bring growth of 20 to 25% because of the rollout of more advanced 3G phone systems.

Lots of earnings reports on the way today, including Microsoft and Sun, Microsystems. Adjusted for fair value, the futures are weak again, although the Nasdaq looks to be in much better shape than the Dow or the S&P so far.

July 18, 2001

The beautiful thing about summer are those laid-back days when not much seems to happen and you can just take it easy. Today is not one of those days. Hundreds of companies report earnings today, including IBM, which reports after the market closes. The Consumer Price Index and Housing Start numbers for June will be released in 15 minutes and Alan Greenspan will testify before the House of Representatives at 10 o'clock this morning. Outside of that, not much going on.

Ford Motor reported a loss for the quarter of 30 cents per share exclusive of charges, 41 cents including charges. What charges, you say? A 2.1 billion dollars for tire replacement and potential liability costs from the Firestone problem. Those results are about 4 cents a share better than expected.

Johnson Controls beat estimates by a penny, Delphi hit its number on the nose.

Last night, Intel and Apple computer both beat earnings estimates. Intel said , that they see improvement in the next six months, mainly due to the full rollout of the Pentium 4 chip and hopes that Microsoft's Windows XP will prompt a lot of new computer sales. But profit margins are likely to continue shrinking.

Futures are weak again, but there may be a lot of changes in direction as today unfolds. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures down 11, Dow futures off 58 and Nasdaq futures 23 points below fair value.

July 17, 2001

Earnings all over the place this morning. Unisys met estimates but warned about the rest of the year. Fannie Mae and Kodak met estimates, Pfizer and Knight Ridder beat estimates by a penny. Merrill Lynch beat lowered expectations by 2 cents. International Paper beat estimates by 7 cents. The only big misses of the morning were Wells Fargo, with a loss of 5 cents and Phillips Electronics over in the Netherlands, posting a big loss.

Locally, of course, the big earnings story of the day is General Motors. GM stock has been on a run, up over 30% since the end of March. GM reported profits of $1.26. That's down from $2.93 last year. However, it beats consensus estimates of $1.14 profit per share.

In about an hour, Indu, strial Production and Capacity Utilization figures will be out. The recession in manufacturing is no big secret to people around here, and that Capacity Utilization number could be the worst we've seen since 1983.

Futures are weak again, but they're not all that bad. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 1 1/2, Dow futures down 6, Nasdaq futures are about 6 points below fair value.

July 16, 2001

This week, it's all about expectations. Companies have set expectations so low (through all the earnings warnings) that most of this week's news should be good news. Earnings will start rolling in like the tide starting today. Sixteen of the Dow 30 Industrials report this week, and don't expect a lot of companies to disappoint.

So far this morning, Citigroup, Eaton, Bank of America and Continental Airlines all beat estimates. Continental was the big surprise, beating estimates by 16 cents. That's the good news. The bad news is that they made 74 cents on the quarter, down from $2.46 last year.

In fifteen minutes, we get the May report on business inventories. Expect that inventories declined by one-tenth of one percent. A bigger decline would be good news for stocks.

Futures are sligh,, tly under water this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are flat, Dow futures down 4, Nasdaq futures are about 13 points below fair value.

July 13, 2001

It's Friday the 13th. Do you feel lucky? Last Friday the 13th, back in October, we saw triple digit gains in the Dow and the Nasdaq. Yesterday we saw triple digit gains in the Dow and the Nasdaq. Today? We'll have to wait and see.

The market rally yesterday was pretty impressive. Almost two stocks rose on the New York Exchange for every one that fell. The Dow rose over 3%, the Nasdaq over 5 ¼ %, and most of it was on the back of the Microsoft news we talked about yesterday. General Electric met estimates yesterday, and that helped. But, this was a pretty strong rally on pretty unimpressive news. Imagine what might happen if two or three big companies actually said they thought things were improving.

Kimberly Clark with their second warning in two months this morning and I, nternatio, nal Paper cutting more jobs - both blaming the strong dollar. AMD, Rambus and Juniper Networks all meeting or barely beating severely lowered expectations overnight. Asia was down overnight, Europe is mixed and all US stock index futures are within a couple points of fair value. No clear indication for the market open, but we get the June Producer Price Index in 15 minutes. A negative number there would help.

July 12, 2001

It's going to be party time at 9:30 this morning, and it's been awhile since we've had reason to party. Last night Microsoft said they expect to make their earnings number a week from today, and that revenues will beat estimates by a hundred million dollars or so. Granted, a hundred million on top of 6 ½ billion is not earth shattering, and just MEETING estimates isn't any great shakes. BUT - given the seemingly endless stream of earnings warnings we've had during the past month - this is a big time breath of fresh air and the market's going up at the open.

Actual , earnings reports are starting to flow, and you have to assume that most companies that are have bad news have already warned. Motorola beat estimates, although they missed their revenue number. Enron beat estimates, as did Harley Davidson, Dow Jones, First Union and Yahoo!

Adjusted for fair value, the futures are on a roll. S&P futures are up 12, Dow futures are up 83 and the Nasdaq futures are 69 points above fair value.

July 11, 2001

The early rally in the market faded quickly yesterday, and stocks took a pretty good drubbing. Corning did not hold its early gains and lost almost a buck on the day. The Nasdaq fell over 3% as earnings warnings continued to pile up.

So what up for today? Warning that revenue this quarter will be light by about half a billion dollars, Compaq is shedding another 4000 employees, Emerson sees third quarter earnings off 11%, Comverse Technology warning for this quarter, next quarter and the next quarter, and Doubleclick saying that things may not pick up in the internet advertising business until the middle of next year. Allstate, Newell Rubbermaid, Safeco and Chubb all also warning.

Is there any good news out there?, Oh sure. Pepsi Bottling Group beat estimates by 2 cents. That's about it. Earnings reports coming from Yahoo and Motorola later today.

Europe down about 1% across the board. Adjusted for fair value, the future are a little weak - S&P futures are down 4, Dow futures down 33 and the Nasdaq futures are 2 1/2 points below fair value.

July 10, 2001

It could be that the company known as "Corning" may officially change their name to "Warning". They are cutting another 1,000 jobs, closing three plants, eliminating their dividend for the first time since 1945 and warning about earnings for the rest of the year. Corning said after the bell last night that things may not get any better for the next 12 to 18 months. That's about the eight zillionth warning from Corning this year. So how's Corning trading is the pre-market trading? It's up 15 cents.

So keep an eye on Corning today. If stocks in a sector that has been beaten up already do not go down further on bad news, we may be seeing a floor for that sector's prices.

One big merger today, it's in the energy sector; Amerada Hess is buying Triton Energy for 2.7 billion, dollars.

Asia and Europe were pretty flat overnight. The futures here have been moving up for the past couple of hours. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 3, Dow futures up 10 and the Nasdaq futures are 21 points above fair value.

July 9, 2000

At last. We finally get to focus on something other than earnings warnings. Comcast has made a hostile offer to buy AT&T Broadband for stock and debt totaling about 58 billion dollars. This story will be a long one. First of all, AT&T shareholders have to agree to it. Then, the regulators will get involved. This deal would make Comcast the number 1 cable company in the country, so you know the FTC and FCC guys will want to get involved. AT&T stock is trading even in the pre-market at 22, but today is the day AT&T is spinning off AT&T Wireless to its shareholders. If you adjust for the spin-off, AT&T should trade at about 16 bucks. So, 22 is a significant premium to that.

Don't forget how to get to the grocery store. It looks like Internet grocer Webvan is heading toward the final checkout lane. They fired 15% of their remaining employees Friday.

Asia and Europe all off overnight, but the US , futures are positive after looking pretty weak all morning.

Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are flat, Dow futures are up 15, but the Nasdaq futures up 11 1/2 points.

July 6, 200, 1

Beware of the TLA's. The three letter acronyms. Last night, earnings warnings from a bunch of three-letter-acronym stocks; AMD, BMC and EMC are going to knock stocks for a loop this morning. What's surprising is not necessarily that these companies are going to miss analyst estimates. The surprising part is the MAGNITUDE of the misses. AMD estimates profits at 3 to 5 cents. Analysts expected 27 cents. EMC expecting a nickel per share; estimates averaged 17 cents. BMC only expecting half the profit per share that was estimated.

It's becoming pretty clear that the SEC's regulation FD, which was int, ended to stop leaks of inside information is serving to leave everybody almost totally in the dark until warnings are issued like they were last night. So, nobody's getting the advance scoop, but this kind of lack of information is sure making stock investing a more volatile business.

In fifteen minutes the June Unemployment Report is released. The unemployment rate is expected to reach 4.6%, that would be the highest rate since May of 1998.<, br>
U.S. futures way off this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 9, Dow futures are down 44, Nasdaq futures off by 29 points.

July 5, 2001

A big earnings warning from British telecom company Marconi this morning. They'll miss their earnings number by half. A glass half empty, half full story from Compuware. Their quarterly earnings will beat estimates, but revenues will fall short of expectations.

On Tuesday, European regulators officially blocked the General Electric / Honeywell merger. As we discussed a couple weeks ago, this is not good news for stock prices, but the real dan, ger lies in any trade barriers that our friends in Congress may cook up in response. This morning there are reports that some Senators want to hold hearings on the matter. Keep an eye on that one.

And, if you own one of Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube computers, you may have a collector's item. Apple has suspended the high-end PC due to chronically anemic sales.

U.S. futures are weak this morning, but not as weak as they were in the 5 o'clock hour. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 6, Dow futures are down 38, Nasdaq futures off by 15 points.

July 3, 2001

We started with a mixed market yesterday, and it pretty much stayed that way all day. The Dow finished up, the Nasdaq down.

After the close last night, over two dozen earnings warnings, as companies that were counting on closing a lot of business before the end of last month fessed up - it just didn't happen. A lot of software companies rely on those end of quarter contracts. And software makers led the parade of warnings. Internet Security Systems, Rational Soft, ware, E.phiphany all warned last night. Dupont also said that they'll miss their number by a bunch.

The Purchasing Managers Index was weak yesterday, but was better than expected. Nothing major on tap today - factory orders for May come out at 10 o'clock and the OPEC meeting starts in about 45 minutes. No change in oil output is expected.

Get out the barbecue, the stock market closes at 1 o'clock today. The futures are a little weak at this point. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 1, Dow futures are down about 21 and Nasdaq futures are down about 14 points.

July 2, 2001

Nasdaq trading was just a mess on Friday, as the electronic exchange nearly shut down in mid-afternoon. It was the end of the quarter, it was Russell Index rebalancing day, it was about the worst time possible for a glitch. Reportedly the problem was caused by a technician running a diagnostic test. In any event, they promise that they won't miss a beat this morning. Maybe they installed a defibulator over the weekend.

It was actually a pretty good quarter for stocks. The Dow finished up 6.3%., That's the Dow's best quarter since 1999. The S&P rose 5 ½% and the Nasdaq went up over 17%. The Nasdaq 100 was up over 20%. Most of those gains, of course, came in April.

One minor warning, from Parker Hannifin, over the weekend. But we may have the big bad news behind us as ACTUAL quarterly earnings reports start rolling in later this week.

The futures pretty flat this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P are even, Dow futures are down about 6 and Nasdaq futures are up about 8 points.

June 29, 2001

We had a nice day from the get-go yesterday as stocks moved up across the board on pretty good volume. The Appeals Court ruling overturning the break-up remedy in the Microsoft case really didn't impact stocks a great deal, but it sure didn't hurt.

Today will be an interesting day for people who invest in stocks of smaller companies. The Russell indexes will be readjusted today. The Russell 1000 will add 15 to 20 , companies to its roster, the Russell 2000 may add over 500 companies. Mutual funds that invest according to those indexes will be doing a lot of buying and selling to rebalance their funds. That should add a good bit of volume and some interesting price changes in small, and midcapitalization stocks.

Three warnings this morning, but nothing dramatic. Agere Systems, Dow Chemical and PMC Sierra all warning. PMC, however, is actually trading up this morning in pre-market trading.

The futures are ever so slightly positive this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P and Dow futures are virtually flat. Nasdaq futures are up about 4 points.

June 28, 2001

The market was looking for one of two things from the Fed yesterday. Either a ½ percent interest rate cut, or, if only a quarter point cut, some word from the Fed that economic conditions are improving. Well, the market got nothing. Everything in the Fed's statement indicated that things aren't getting any better in the economy - the statement was virtually identical to the statement from the last meeting, yet we only got a quarter percent cut.

So apparently, Mr. Greenspan still is still trying to kill the beast, the beast's not dead, but maybe the hunter,, , , is getting low on bullets and hopes that the beast will just kinda get scared and go away.

We're into the last two trading days of the quarter, so a lot of money managers will be "dressin, g up" their portfolios for display in their quarterly reports. ConAgra beat estimates by 3 cents. Fedearl Express beat estimates by 12 cents this morning. Nike beat estimates by a penny, but warned about the next couple of quarters.

Not much of a fair value adjustment this morning. In the futures, what you see is what you get, and the gettings has been good since about 6:30 this morning. S&P futures up 8, Dow futures up 62 and the Nasdaq futures are up about 33 points.

June 27, 2001

The fireworks start in the stock market at 2:15 this afternoon. That's when Mr. Greenspan and Company will announce whether interest rates go down ¼ percent or ½ percent. In the big picture, >
Interest rates have been cut six times in succession fo, ur times in the past thirty years. According to calculations from Birinyi Associates, stocks in almost all major indexes and in a majority of industries traded LOWER three months after the 6th rate cut. HOWEVER, a year after the sixth cut, stocks of vi, rtually every industry group went higher, the S&P 500 averaged a 19% gain, the Dow Jones 18.5% and the Nasdaq over 24%.

Is it different this time? Well, it's different EVERY time. But, there's no question that lowering interest rates will at some point in the future help this economy and probably kick-start the stock market.

The futures are pretty uninteresting this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P, Dow and the Nasdaq futures are all within a few points of fair value.

June 26, 2001

Paul, can I get MacMurray's job for a while? I feel like a Detroit weatherman in January - there's just not a lot of good news to report, and the cold weather just keeps on coming.

A warning this morning from Merrill Lynch. They're going to miss their number by , a bunch. Merrill down about 9% in the pre-market. Last night, Applied Micro warned - and that's pulling down most of the chip stocks this morning. Other warnings from Robert Half and Cheap Tickets overnight. International Paper is cutting 3,000 jobs..... oh, let's talk about something else.

The May Durable Goods number comes out in 15 minutes, the M, ay Consumer Confidence Index will be out at 10 o'clock as well as New Home Sales. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting today and tomorrow - they'll be watching those numbers. Consensus is that the Fed will cut ¼ of a percent. Although they certainly don't want to overdo it, I think there's a significant chance that we'll get another half-point cut, do to the weakness in manufacturing and all the job cuts.

The futures are telling us that if you have to watch TV today, the Disney Channel may a lot more fun than CNBC. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 15, Dow futures are down 79 and the Nasdaq futures are 43 points below fair value. In other words, overcast with a 100% chance of thunderstorms.

June 25, 2001

, It won't shake the markets today, but IBM says that using silicon germanium technology, it has developed a transistor that will be able to drive microchip to a speed of over 200 gigahertz. That's a lot faster than anything out there now. More communications stuff will getting smaller and faster in the years to come.

Twice every year Alan Greenspan's wacky bunch gets together , for a two-day meeting. The last two-day party of the year starts tomorrow. Hopefully, interest rate cut excitement can overshadow whatever earnings warnings are on the way this week. We haven't had anybody fall out of bed this morning, but make no mistake - there will be more warnings before the quarter ends on Friday.

Washington Mutual buying Dime Bancorp this morning. That should give a lift to regional bank stocks.

Asia was weak overnight, but Europe is generally positive. Futures in pretty good shape so far. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 5, Dow futures are up 31 and the Nasdaq futures are 24 points above fair value.<, br>

June 22, 2001

The Nasdaq has a three day winning steak going, but we'll need a little help to make it four. Last night - what else - earnings missed and earnings warnings. The big one was Micron Technology. Analysts were expecting a loss of 15 cents per share from that memory chip maker. Micron reported a 53 cent loss. Big miss. But, about half of that number was an inventory writedown. While inventory writedowns are not a good thing, a wr, itedown is an accounting convention. Those memory chips are still hanging around and will probably not be thrown in the trash. Bottom line, the number looks horrible, but the stock may not sell off as much as you might think. In fact, Micron is unchanged in premarket trading this morning.

Not so for software maker Symantec. They warned yesterday and the stock is off about 25%. There's a rumor going around that IBM might warn about earnings soon - so far no official word on that. Merck lowered their estimates for the year this morning by a couple cents.

Futures area weak this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are off 4, Dow futures down 47 and the Nasdaq futures are 5 points below fair value.

June 21, 2001

We had a pretty entertaining tug of war in the stock market yesterday. We switched back and forth from big losses, to big gains and back and forth again as the market couldn't decide whether to pay more attention to earnings warnings or Alan Greeenspan.

Disappointing earnings from software maker Verity last night as well as earnings warnings from Exodus Communications, and Sanmina. LSI Logic is cutting its workforce by another 3%. It's hard to find any good news is technology right now.

Even a hot non-technology stock, H&R Block warned that the rest of the year might not be so rosy. Block stock has been on a roll this year, thanks to that mess of a tax bill Congress passed last month.

Last week's jobless numbers come out in ten minutes. The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged this morning. Of course the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets next week to decide on the >
No apparent direction for stocks this morning, U.S. futures all within a few points of fair value.

June 20, 2001

Warning, warning, warning, Will Robinson. Danger, danger, danger. Overnight, a bunch more warnings, especially with technology stocks. Tellabs, a telecom equipment maker admitted that life in the telecom business has changed. They now hope to break even, versus a 39 cent per share profit last year, and analyst estimates of 29 cents. Tellabs is down 18% this morning.

Other bad news overnight included a warning from Asyst Technologies, a warni, ng from German chip maker Infineon, a production cutback from Japan's biggest chipmaker Toshiba. All the chip makers are likely to have a lousy start to the day. On top of all that, it looks like the GE/Honeywell merger is dead - killed off by , European regulators. Let's just hope that we won't see some knee-jerk regulatory reaction out of Washington in response.

Alan Greenspan is giving a speech at 10 o'clock this morning, and maybe that will take the market's mind off these warnings, but then again, maybe not. U.S. futures are weak this morning, as you would expect. Adjusted S&P futures are down 3, Dow futures are down 20 and Nasdaq futures are 23 points below fair value.

June 19, 2001

After another bad tech day yesterday -- the Nasdaq fell below the 2000 level -- we really needed some good news from software maker Oracle - and we got it. Not that the news about the quarter gone by was ALL that good. Yes, earnings were a penny better than expected, but rev, enue was down almost 3% from last year. The good news was that their CFO says he "feels" that business has bottomed, is on the way back, and may be back to normal by the end of the year. Now that's not "great visability", but it's the closest thing to a positive statement we've heard out of anyone lately, and this morning's market will be strong as a result.

Plenty of earnings reports on the way today. Ja, bil Circuit, Best Buy, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers all report, and you have to believe that if they had incredibily bad news, it would be on the table already.

Looking at the futures this morning, there's a big spread between the futures and cash, and even though the futures look strong, they're even stronger adjusted for fair value. Adjusted S&P futures are up 11, Dow futures are up 63 and Nasdaq futures are 54 points above fair value.

June 18, 2001

Paul, it's a new week, and we're going to approach it with a whole new attitude. Last week, and last Friday in particular - not a lot of fun. The Dow lost over 3% last week, the Nasdaq Composite lost over 8% and the Nasdaq 100 over 10%. But, that was then and this - well it's Monday.

We're just about week away from another inte, rest rate cut, and in the meantime, we'll just have to hope that the earnings news gets better and the earnings warnings slow down a bit. There have been 743 pre-annoucements this quarter, and 65% have been negative.

Today we get earnings from a couple big tech companies. Solectron, the electronics manuf, acturing company is expected to report earnings of 13 cents per share. After the market closes this afternoon, Oracle, the big software maker is expected to announce that it earned 14 cents for the quarter.

No big economic news is due today - or for that matter - this week, so earnings reports and interest rate cut speculation will be the center of attention.

Adjusted for fair value, the futures are mildly positive. S&P futures are up 2, Dow futures are up 13 and Nasdaq futures are 8 points above fair value.

June 15, 2001

Look out below. There's not much good news out there this morning. Warning after warning about current quarter earnings have been rolling in. Last night, JDS Uniphase warned about a 7 cent loss versus an expected 5 cent profit. This morning, Nortel warned about a current loss of 48 cents a share. They were only expected to lose 6 cents. Adobe warned about the res, t of the year, International Rectifier warned - and there's a rumor this morning that Microsoft might warn.

If that weren't enough, the European Competition Committee and General Electric may be at an impasse on the GE/Honeywell merger. That has ramifications well beyond the deal - in that it's a case of Europe denying the will of two U.S. companies to merge.

It's going to be a wild day for stocks. On top of all the warnings and the international political problems, we get the Consumer Price Index in 15 minutes, Indust, rial Production numbers in an hour, the U of M Consumer Sentiment Index at 10 o'clock - AND it's a triple witching Friday - so stocks should be in for a wild ride.

Adjusted for fair value, the futures are just plain ugly. S&P futures are off 9, Dow futures are down 55 and Nasdaq futures are 39 points below fair value.

June 14, 2001

Earnings warnings continue to cast a pall over the stock markets. Through yesterday, 64% of all pre-announcements have been negative this quarter. That's less than the 69% of last quarter. But there's still no indication that economic conditions are turning up just yet.

Heinz matched estimates for the quarter, but warned for the res, t of the year. Pepsi and Texas Instuments reiterated their earnings guidance. At 8:30, we get the May Producer Price Index and the Jobless Claims number for last week.

General Electric is having problems getting the Honeywell acquisition past European regulators. This isn't a huge deal for the overall market UNLESS the U.S. government gets involved on behalf of GE. That could spark fears , of a trade war - and trade wars don't do anybody much good.

Asia was mixed last night. European markets are down between 1 and 2% this morning. Adjusted for fair value, the futures are weak in advance of all those numbers 15 minutes from now. S&P futures are off 2, Dow futures are down 34 and Nasdaq futures are 21 points below fair value.

June 13, 2001

Yesterday was a very interesting day for stocks. The earnings warning from Nokia came exactly 24 hours ago really knocked stocks around in early trading. In the first hour yesterday, 26 of the 30 Dow Jones stocks were down. But the turnaround in the afternoon was so broad based, only one of the Dow stocks lost ground after 10:30 yesterday morning.

Today's big news, absent any more big surprise warnings, is the May retail sales report. That comes out in about 15 minutes. Expect a 3 tenths of a percent , increase, 1 tenth of a percent excluding auto sales. Although strong retail numbers historically pull stock prices down on the day of release, this time around a stronger than expected number will probably give stocks a boost. That's , because the market's big short term worry is not inflation, but recession.

Asia was flat last night. European markets are mainly up this morning. Adjusted for fair value, the futures are mixed. S&P futures are off a point, Dow futures are up 7 and Nasdaq futures are 2 points below fair value.

June 12, 2001

There aren't as many people signing up for that Direct-TV service as had been expected. That was the news from Hughes Electronics overnight. Hughes still expects its second quarter cash income to be near the top end of what was expected, but that subscriber slowdown news maybe a problem for GMH today. They're down about 6% in the pre-market. Affymetrix with a warning yesterday. They're down about 22% this morning.

The warnings just kept on coming yesterday. We're closing in on 500 negative earnings pre-announcements. That's far more than last year, and it's not nearly over. The question is - how much has the market "priced in" the bad news to come.

Unfortunately, there's not m, uch else to focus on today - there's a Bear Stearns technology conference going on - some computer executives will be speaking there. A Federal Reserve Governor will be speaking in New York later today. But overall, , any market moving news will be coming at us out of the blue.

Japan was down 3% last night. Europe is also weak. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 5, Nasdaq futures are down 41, but the Dow futures are down about 45 points.

June 11, 2001

Friday turned out to be, well just a weird day for stocks. Trading volume was very light, trading was actually stopped for most of the morning session on the New York stock exchange because of a software problem. Hopefully we're a bit more back to normal this morning.

There's nothing big on the calendar for today - but there's plenty coming in the week ahead. There are five big initial public offerings coming to market this week, the biggest of which is Philip Morris' partial spinoff of Kraft Foods. The market for initial public offers has been pretty anemic for the past year, and it will be interesting to see how the deals this week are received.

One major brokerage firm changed their reco, mmendation on Ford s, tock , this morning. Ford is up a buck or so in the pre-market. And, of course, we're heading into the middle of "earnings warnings" season - so things could change in a hurry for the stock of any company that puts itself in the spotlight.

No big movement overseas overnight. The U.S. futures are pointing to a slightly lower opening this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down a point, Nasdaq futures are down a point and the Dow futures are down about 31 points.

June 8, 2001

In the most anticipated meeting in the chip world since Frito met Lay, Intel met with analysts last night. They said that earnings are on track with expectations and that they see good times ahead for the personal computer industry. Assuming that they know what they're talking about - always a big assumption when people start predicting the future - this could be a bit of the "visability" we've been looking for since December.

However, one big warning this morning - Juniper Networks says quarterly revenue will miss expectations by some 50%. Earning will be way off expectations. They'll cut up to 9% of their s, taff. Juniper down about 15% in pre-market tr, ading.

If you like internet access without paying big monthly fees, your few remaining choices became one fewer yesterday. NetZero and Juno are merging, as they struggle to survive the America Online/Microsoft Network onslaught.

No big economic reports or earnings reports scheduled today. But at the open, it looks like the Juniper warning will kill the Intel rally this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 6, Dow futures are down 25, Nasdaq futures 7 points below fair value.

June 7, 2001

The big news overnight came from California - that land of clear logic and rational thought. A Los Angeles jury awarded a smoker more than 3 billion dollars from Philip Morris. They concluded that the smoker never knew that cigarettes were bad for him, nobody ever told him otherwise, now he has cancer and that entitles him to 3 billion dollars. Presumably he will take that money and build some electrical power plants to bail out everyone else in the state who never knew that you have to have power plants to generate electricity. Nonetheless, Philip Morris is down 3 dollars in pre-market trading.

A warning from Broadcom last nig, ht - their qua, rter is not shaping up as well as analysts expected. The big story of today is likely to be Intel. They will talk to analysts after the general market closes. It's their first regularly scheduled mid quarter update. Many are expecting that their news will be less than wonderful - of course that expectation may already be reflected in the stock's price.

Futures are slightly negative this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up ½ point, Dow futures are down 10, Nasdaq off about 6 points.

June 6, 2001

The earnings warnings we feared this week - well, they just haven't happened. That's starting to get people believing that yes, the worst may be behind us. Yesterday, even Lucent reaffirmed their earnings guidance - and heck, when Lucent doesn't warn about decreasing expectations - well that's news. Lucent also set to offer early retirement offers to as many as 15,000 U.S. managers.

One interesting twist yesterday was the President Bush's call for an investigation into alleged dumping by foreign s, teel companies. There are a bunch of big U.S. steel companies operating with bankruptcy protection right now, and any protectionist import measures may help , the steel industry short term. The other side of the coin, industries that use steel - like maybe the auto industry --- may see their costs rise. Steel stocks shot up yesterday.

Don't look now, but since the lows this spring, the Dow is up 19%, and the Nasdaq is up 36%.

Futures are pretty flat this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down a point, Dow futures are down 13, and the Nasdaq futures are up about 9 points.

June 5, 2001

The now world-famous Tiger Woods effect worked again yesterday. So far this year, Tiger has won four times - the Dow and the Nasdaq have risen four times - and most of those times the advances were pretty good ones. That goes hand in hand with the Paul W. Smith effect - every time you've broken 90 the Dow has gone to 15,000.

No big golf tournaments to watch today, but the only people who make more money than Tiger Woods -the OPEC oil ministers - are getting together today to d, ecide whether to pump additional oil this month. That oil would make up for oil Iraq says it won't be sending to market because of their latest , tiff with the United Nations. Word is that OPEC will fill the gap temporarily, but will schedule an emergency meeting next month to formally reconsider the situation at that time.

First quarter productivity figures come out in fifteen minutes. Productivity has been slipping of late, and that's not a particularly good signal.

Futures are mixed but on the whole positive this morning, in advance of that productivity number. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 2 1/2, Dow futures are down about 7, but the Nasdaq futures are up 22 points.

June 4, 2001



This is a good time for everybody to look in the mirror. Decide whether your're a trader or an investor, and act accordingly. The economic backdrop is starting to look good for long term stock investing. The employment numbers that were released last Friday actually show a DECREASE in the unemployment rate, which was a surprise, and may portent that the econm, oic slowdown doesn't have long to to go.

Alan Greenspan spoke over the weekend, and empha>
On the other hand, stocks could be on a short term roller coaster as earnings warnings season continues. Oracle was expected to warn on Friday, and they didn't - but Intel has a conference call scheduled for Thursday. It's getting to the point where they not only schedule the quarterly earnings - now even the warnings are getting scheduled ahead of time. So look for a volatile week ahead.

So with so much near term danger - what do the futures show? We could actually get a rally at 9:30. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 5.5, Dow futures up 45, and Nasdaq futures up 22 points.

June 1, 2001

The parade of earnings warnings continued last night. Another computer chipmaker, Altera, said its second quarter revenue will be down 25%, rather than the 20% that analysts expected.

But forget about warnings, forget about the weather, forget about every other statistic you care about - at 8:30 this morning the Labor Department reports employme, nt information for the month of May, as well as the average hourly wage. These are almost always market moving numbers and a lot of speculation this morning that some surprises are in store. Th, e consensus outlook for jobs is a decline of 17,000, but there are some who say the economy may have lost somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 jobs in May. That kind of number would indicate that the economic slump may start to impact consumer spending. Although that would give the Fed the green light for more interest rate cuts, at some point, business activity has to accelerate to generate better profits.

The futures are weak. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 8, Dow futures are off about 41 points, Nasdaq futures 16 below fair value, but all that can change dramatically in 15 minutes.

August 30, 2001

More trouble in tech-land this morning. Yesterday, after the market closed, Sun Microsystems warned that the, y will not be making a money this quarter. Weak demand for servers and the slowdown in Europe are spelling trouble. In fact, European Central Bank may finally be ready to admit that things are slowing down. The ECB cut interest rates a quarter of a percent about a half hour ago. Speaking of Europe, just when Microsoft looked to be out of the regulatory woods, the European Commission --- remember them from the breakup of the GE / Honeywell deal? The European Commission is expanding their investigation of possibly anti-competitive business practices by Microsoft. That news is not likely to help Microsoft stock today.

July Personal Income and Consumption numbers coming out in 10 minutes, but unless we get a big surprise, it looks like another lower opening this morning.

Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are flat, Dow futures up a few but the Nasdaq futures are 12 points below fair value.

August 29, 2001

They say that no news is good news. For the stock market yesterday, very little news made for a mess. The market was mixed until the Consumer Confidence number was released at 10 o'clock. Consumers are evidently not as confident about the current economy, but their confidence i, s rising about the future. Now on the sur>
Today's big news? Again, it's more of a "what happened" number rather than a "what's coming" number. The revised 2nd quarter Gross Domestic Product number is expected to show zero growth for the second quarter. That number will be released in 10 minutes and may well set the tone for the rest of the day.

Gateway announced details of their restructuring. 5,000 folks, or 25% of Gateway's workforce will be looking for work somewhere else.

Adjusted for fair value, futures are lower at this hour, S&P futures down 2, Dow futures are down 13 and Nasdaq futures 8 points below fair value.

August 28, 2, 001

The market hovered modestly higher all day yesterday until the last half hour of trading, then sold off a little, but all and all, it wasn't a bad day after the big run-up on Friday. Yesterday was the fourth lightest trading day of the year on the New York Stock Exchange.

Only one economic indicator coming today. At 10 o'clock the reading on Consumer Confidence is expected to tick up slightly from last month.

After the bell yesterday office furniture maker Herman Miller warned that their current quarter is heading for the circular file. Less spending by businesses and heck, less businesses out there buying furniture, Herman Miller now expects earnings for the quarter of 2 to 7 cents. Analysts were expecting 21 cents. Herman Miller stock off over 13% last night after that announcement.

Sun Microsystems downgraded by a major brokerage house this morning. Asia off a little, Europe flat this morning. That futures have barely moved all morning but are pointing toward a mixed opening. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures down 1, Dow futures are up 6 and Nasdaq , futures 8 points below fair value.

August 27, 2001

Friday's gains were the biggest in six weeks. The Dow shot up 2% and the Nasdaq was up over 4%. Is this the start of something big? Well, don't bet the farm. Summer Fridays are always a little suspect, because of light trading volume. And according to Connecticut Research firm Birinyi and Associates, over the past 10 years there have been 23 weeks with trading patterns similar to last week's. The most likely result for the following Monday? 61% of the time, the Monday market finished only slightly positive, with less than a half-percent gain.

The message in Friday's rally? It was triggered when Cisco Systems said it saw signs that business was "stabilizing." Imagine what the market will do when two or three big companies actually see business "improving."

More job cuts in the news. Toshiba and Hitachi reportedly set to let 40,000 workers go. JP Morgan Chase will have a third round of layoffs and Manpower says that 4th quarter hiring in the U.S. will be the weakest since the last recession ten years ago.

Asia and Europe up about 1%. Futures have been slipping most of the morning, but are still positive. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 1, Dow futures are up 25. Nasdaq futures are 2 po, ints above fair value.

August 24, 2001

After the market closed Cisco Systems announced that while they can't predict the future - which is interesting because a year and a half ago everybody thought they could - Cisco said that orders during the first few weeks of the current quarter were in line with projections. And then they muttered the four magic words - "our business is stabilizing." Look for those words at a business near you during the next few months. Cisco is up about 80 cents in premarket trading.

Kmart reported a loss of 4 cents yesterday. That was in line with estimates, but same store sales were only up about 1%. So, the stores sure look a lot better, but the earnings turnaround everybody's been waiting for is could still be a little ways off.

At 8:30 we get the July Durable Goods report, New Home Sales at 10 o'clock. But outside of that, a lot of traders may head for the beach a little early today.

Japan was up a little overnight, Europe is in rally mode. W, e , should rally at the open on the Cisco announcement. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 5 1/2, Dow futures are up 47 and Nasdaq futures are 28 points above fair value.

August 23, 2001

This is one of my favorite days of the quarter. We get earnings reports from Krispy Crème AND the World Wrestling Federation. No real connection there. It's just fun to talk about companies where what you see is what you get. Krispy Crème, which contains some natural ingredients (unlike the World Wrestling Federation) once again beat expectations, making ten cents per share, versus a 9 cent estimate. They say that they will continue to expand in 2002, opening 40 new stores, with projected profits of 42 cents per share.

If you own a Gateway computer, the computer may still work, but if you own a Gateway bond, it's now junk. Standard and Poors has downgraded Gateway's debt to junk status.

Yesterday was a day for the semiconductor stocks. On news of that improved book to bill ratio, semiconductor stocks shot up over 3 and a quarter percent yesterday. Overall we tacked a hundred points on the Dow and a perc, ent and a half on the Nasdaq. But, you know the market this year - if we're up one day - well, you know the rest of the story.

Japan was down overnight, Europe is mixed. Adjusted for fair value S&P, Dow and Nasdaq futures are all solidly under fair value. It looks like a weaker open for the market at 9:30.

August 22, 2001

The Fed said that the slowdown's not dead. The market saw red. As expected, the Fed cut short-term interest rates a quarter percent yesterday, but investors keyed on what the Fed said. In a statement that was virtually identical to their June statement, they said that economy is NOT yet showing great signs of strength, and the door is still open to further rate cuts.

As we mentioned yesterday, General Motors stock has taken a beating since Ford Motor warned about earnings for the rest of the year. Well last night, after the market closed, GM said - hey - enough is enough - we're not Ford, our third quarter earnings will come in better than expected - so get off our case. Not surprisingly,, GM traded up over a buck in the after-hours trading last night.

A glimmer of hope for semiconductor stocks - the July book to bill ratio is reported at .67. That's up from .54 in June. So, chip-makers are still getting less in orders than they are shipping out, but the ratio is getting better.

Don't look now - but the Nasdaq is in another bear market. Last night's close left it down over 20% in the last three months, but it looks like all the major averages will get off the mat at 9:30 this morning. Adjusted for fair value S&P futures are up a point 5 1/2, the Dow futures are up 48, and the Nasdaq futures are about 18 points above fair value.

August 21, 2001

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 80 points yesterday, on a day that saw Dow component General Motors lose about 3 and a half bucks. That GM loss is worth about 20 points on the Dow, so overall, a pretty good day.

Since the market closed yesterday, two big earnings reports: Agilent Technologies lost less money than expected last quarter, but warned that the rest of the year won't be as good as expected, they're c, utting 4,000 jobs. Staples met expectations, but said they aren't seeing a lot of near term upside and as a result, they're cutting back expansion plans.

Don't expect anything dramatic in front of the Federal Reserve announcement at 2:15 this afternoon. Absolutely everyone this side of the international space station is expecting a quarter-point reduction in interest rates. So, the most important part of the Fed announcement won't be the cut, it will be what the statement regarding what the Fed expects the future to hold.

Looks like we're going to drift a bit ahead of that announcement. Adjusted for fair value S&P futures are up a point, the Dow futures are up 16, and the Nasdaq futures are about 3 points below fair value.

August 20, 2001

We had a bunch of encouraging economic news last week. But a depreciating dollar, the earning warning from Dell Computer and all the news from Ford Motor were just too much to overcome. One brokerage firm this morning is questioning how long Ford can maintain its current dividend - keep an eye on that one.It's Alan Greenspan front and center tomorrow. We should get another ¼ percent cut in short term interest rates. But, just as is the case with corporate earnings reports, market reaction may focus less on what the Fed does, and more on what it , says about the future. That announcement comes at 2:15 tomorrow afternoon.

Lowe's beat estimates by a penny this morning. They made 42 cents for the 2nd quarter, versus 36 cents last year. Yes, there are some businesses that ARE making more money than they did last year.

Japan's losing streak hit four overnight, the Nikkei was of over 1 ½ percent. Europe also down this hour. Our futures started to rally at about 6:30 this morning. Adjusted for fair value S&P futures are down just a smidgen, but the Nasdaq futures are about 2 points above fair value.

August 17, 2001

If you are a salaried employee at the Ford Motor Company, you may not have to wait until Christmas to get your next "package." Ford will cut up to 5,000 white collar jobs through a "Voluntary Separation Program." Ford also says it now sees 2001 earnings at 70 cents per share. The consensus estimate was $1.20. Over and above that 50 cent shortfall, they will take another 50 cents in charges by year end in connection with that early retirement program.

Analog Devices met estimates this morning, but said they will be cutting jobs by year, end. Boeing also announced 600 job cuts this morning.

Hewlett Packard beat estimates, and said that things may be getting better. Dell Computer, on the other hand, met estimates, but warned about the rest of the year. So far this morning, the market looks to believe Dell more than HP. Adjusted for fair value, the futures aren't as bad as they look at first glance, but they're still not a pretty picture. S&P futures are down 7 1/2, Dow futures are down 42, and the Nasdaq futures are about 25 points below fair value.

August 16, 2001

In fifteen minutes, the government will release two bits of economic information that may come to the aid of a pretty listless stock market. The July Housing Starts are thought to have declined very slightly from the June level. Housing demand has held up very well through the downtown of the past 18 months, so that number is an important one.

And of course, one of the most important factors in interest rate policy is the inflation rate. The July Consumer Price Index will also be released at 8:30. Look for a tenth of a percent decrease overall and a two tenths of a percent increase in the core rate. The Federal Reserve Open Market Com,, mittee meets next week for what will almost certainly be another cut in short-term interest rates.

Yesterday the major indexes took another drubbing, but it really wasn't THAT bad a day, as the advance/decline line held up pretty well. The big hurt of the day was laid on the Nasdaq, which lost over 45 points. Later today, earnings from Kmart, Dell, Ciena and Hewlett-Packard.

Futures have improved a bit during the last two hours but are still a bit negative. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 4, Dow futures are down 16, and the Nasdaq futures are about 14 points.

August 15, 2001

The itty bitty rally we started with yesterday petered out as the day dragged along. Last night a few big companies reported earnings. BEA Systems beat estimates by a penny, but warned about the remainder of the year. Applied Materials also beat estimates, Network Appliance matched expectations. AOL/Time Warner was hit with a rumor about an earnings shortfall and impending layoffs yesterday. AOL lost about $3 to $40 on the day

Later today, we'll hear about our Industrial Production and Capacity U, tilization. Expect declines in both.

Don't forget to file your tax return! If you took an automatic extension of time to file of April 15, today's the deadline to file, unless you formally request an additional two-month extension.

European markets are quiet day in fact a lot of overseas markets are closed for Assumption day. And the U.S. futures have been pretty quiet this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 3, Dow futures are up 18, and the Nasdaq futures are about 4 points.

August 14, 2001

At 8:30 this morning, the report on July retail sales. A decrease of 2/10 of a percent overall and, excluding autos, a rise of 1/10 of a percent is expected. Speaking of retail sales, Walmart met estimates on 37 cents pre share this last quarter. Home Depot made 39 cents. That beat estimates by 2 cents. And speaking of auto sales, this may get a little tougher for the domestics car makers. The Bank of Japan overnight announced a surprise easing of monetary policy. Interest rates, of course, are already virtually zero in Japan. Now the Japanese Central Bank is planning to flo, od the system with yen, making it even cheaper for Japanese consumers to consume and Japanese exporters to profit. The Japanese stock market was up almo, st 4% overnight.

Tyco cutting 11,000 jobs, that's 6% of their payroll. Citigroup cutting about 1 ½ percent of their workforce, that's 3,500 jobs.

Europe is up across the board this hour, and barring a disaster in the retail sales number we'll start the day with an itty bitty rally on Wall Street. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 3, Dow futures are up 9, and the Nasdaq futures are about 9 points above fair value.

August 13, 2001

Another call from a major investment firm this morning may give us a little boost at 9:30. Just past 7 this morning, Goldman Sachs upgraded its outlook for certain semiconductor and telecommunication stocks. That turned a negative futures market around pretty nicely, especially for the Nasdaq.

Mark this day on your calendar, the first Bridgestone/Firestone lawsuit gets going today. Could be a lot time before that story goes away. One legal dispute settled this morning, as Ford has settled a Californina lawsuit over allegedly defective ignition switches. Nationwide, that could mean the recall of 5 million vehicles.

A lot of big names report earning, s later this week, and of course, we're a week away from another Fed meeting. Japan's Nikkei is at another 16 year low, falling so fast it's actually closing in on the Dow Jones. The Nikkei now under 11,500. Europe is up a little this hour. Adjusted for fair value, futures are mixed. S&P futures are up 1, Dow futures just turned down about 10, and the Nasdaq futures are about 11 points above fair value.

August 10, 2001

The stock market was a lot like a duck in the lake yesterday, paddling furiously below the sur>
The big number of the day will be the Producer Price Index at 8:30 this morning. Economists are expecting a decrease of 4 tenths of a percent overall and and rise of 1 tenth of a percent in the core rate. The lower these numbers are, of course, the more room the Federal Reserve has to continue lowering interest ra, , tes. At this point the Fed Futures contracts are pricing in an 80% probability of another ½ percent interest rate cut by November.

That three billion dollar judgement against Philip Morris in California was cut to $100 million by a judge in California yesterday. Phillip Morris still plans to appeal to get its reduced even further.

Europe is up 1 to 2 percent today. Adjusted for fair value, futures are slightly positive. S&P futures are up 2 1/2, Dow futures are up 10 and the Nasdaq futures are about 3 points above fair value.

August 9, 2001

Yesterday was a day we really could have done without, as far as stocks were concerned. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book was released. It reported that the weakness in manufacturing has started to spread to other businesses, like office space, trucking and shipping. Now, if you live in an area that has no office buildings, maybe you haven't seen scores of "For Rent" signs lately. But, for anyone who has been looking around a bit, this Beige Book revelation should not be big news. Unfortunately, the market did not react well, as we lost 3% on the Nasdaq and 165 points on the Dow.

If you're looking for some good news today --- Solectron, the world's biggest electronics contract manufacturer , is buying C-Mac, a Canadian company, for about 2.7 billion U.S. dollars. Why is this good news? Well everybody is waiting for companies to come out and tell us that things are getting better. Sometimes it's a good idea to ignore what they say and watch what they do. If we get some pickup in merger activity, it is likely a good sign for the future.

Japan was a mess overnight, Europe is down 1 to 2 percent. Adjusted for fair value, futures are mixed. S&P futures are down 3 1/2, Dow futures are up 6 and the Nasdaq futures are about 8 points below fair value.

August 8, 2001

A nice surprise yesterday morning - an uptick in U.S. worker productivity helped the Dow Jones to a 57 point gain. But we may be giving it all back at the open this morning.

Last night, after the general market closed, Cisco Systems matched estimates of 2 cents per share in earnings. Cisco stock bubbled up when the number was released to about $19.60 per share. But when the company started talking about expectations for the future, things took an ugly turn. About ten minutes past 5 yesterday afternoon, the stock took some lumps as the company suggested that the internet equipment business has not bottomed, a, nd may not bottom for another 3 to 6 months. Cisco trading this morning at about $18.40 per share.

Good news for Boeing - a $2 billion order from China for 737s. Later today, earnings from Waste Management and Clorox.

The Cisco news and a negative outlook from Emulex will get us off on the wrong foot this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 7, Dow futures are down 55 and the Nasdaq futures are about 13 points below fair market value.

August 7, 2001

The story on Intel's projected price cuts yesterday morning set the stock market off on the wrong foot, and it never really got any better. Unfortunately, we have more of the same this morning. A brokerage firm downgrade of just about the entire semiconductor industry has the futures pointing to a lower opening.

Quarterly productivity numbers, one of Alan Greenspan's favorite economic indicators, will be released later today.

Procter & Gamble out with earnings; they beat estimates by a penny. After the market closes tonight, the big report of the day - Cisco Systems reports earnings. Two cents per share is expected, but the issue for investors will not be what the earnings have been. We'll be listening for any guidance a, bout the future.

Asia down, Europe down, and futures are a little weak this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 4 and the Nasdaq futures are about 20 points below fair value.

August 6,2001

There's some potentially good news if your planning to buy a computer for Christmas, but it may not be such great news if you own stock in Intel or Advanced Micro Devices. There's a research report out this morning saying that Intel will slash prices on their microprocessors a few weeks from now. Some of those cuts could be as much as 50%. Intel is down over a buck in premarket trading.

A few weeks ago General Motors told EchoStar Communications to forget it - go away - GM was not interested in selling Hughes Electronics to them. They would talk exclusively to News Corp. Well, they're back. EchoStar this morning is offering over 30 billion dollars in stock for GMH. That's about an 18% premium. Don't hold your breath on this one, though. Remember - it's an all-stock offer. GM presumably is looking for cash out of any sale of Hughes.

No big earnings or economic reports expected today, it should be another light day for volume.

The futures, are a little weak this morning. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 2 1/2, Dow futures are flat, but the Nasdaq futures, on that Intel report, are about 16 points below fair value.

August 3, 2001

The stock of the morning is Sensormatic. This morning, news that conglomerate Tyco is offering 24 bucks a share for Sensormatic, that's a 2.3 billion dollar deal. Sensormatic closed below $15 last night, but is trading in the premarket at about $23.

Two major earnings reports this morning. Disney beat lowered estimates as did Ethan Allen.

The big news of this day hits at 8:30 this morning, when the government reports the July unemployment rate and the increase or decrease in non-farm jobs. The consensus estimate of economists is a decline of 50,000 jobs and a rise in the unemployment rate to 4.6%. But, there is an unusually large variation in the range of estimates. Yesterday's unemployment claims data seemed to suggest that the jobs market was getting better, but a lot of economists are calling for a decline in payrolls of 100,000 or more. If that indeed is true, you can bet on more interest rate cuts to come.

The futures are taking a wait and see attitude in front of those numbers, Adjusted for fair value, S&P an, d Nasdaq futures are down only a point or so, the Dow futures are about 20 points below fair value.

August 2, 2001

A lot of stuff going on this morning. About an hour ago, the Bank of England unexpectedly cut interest rates a quarter percent, citing weaker economic conditions. But apparently everything across the channel is just fine -- the European Central Bank held rates unchanged.

Overnight, shares of PMC Sierra surged over 10%. Why? That stock is being added to the S&P 500 to replace Quaker Oats, which was up over 13% yesterday. Why? As we discussed yesterday morning, the FTC did give Pepsi the OK to buy Quaker.

In fifteen minutes, last week's jobless claims number will be released. Look for an increase of about 20,000 claims. That number is always a little squirrelly this time of year because of auto factory changeover.

Europe generally higher this morning, Japan up 3.7% and Taiwan way up over night, on the strength of the semiconductor stocks that did so well here in the U.S. yesterday.

Unless we get a big surprise from the jobless claims at 8:30, we're going up at the market open. Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 12, Dow futures up 93 and the Nasdaq futures 28 points ab, ove fair value.

August 1, 2001

It's summer, a lot of traders are on vacation, trading volumes are light. So, you can't read too much into a couple good days for stocks. Still -we'll take it. The futures are indicating a solid opening and they've been gaining strength since 5 o'clock this morning.

One of the reasons is likely a blanket upgrade of the semiconductor chip stocks be a major brokerage firm. It was a similar downgrade last fall that really seemed to tip off the big market decline. So, watch those Nasdaq stocks today.

Earnings reports continue to trickle in. Only one miss this morning; Cigna, the big insurance company missed estimates by 4 cents.

Later today, the Federal Trade Commission may rule on the Pepsi/Quaker Oats merger. The National Association Purchasing Managers Index for July comes out at 10 o'clock. That index measures the health of our manufacturers. It's no secret that the manufacturing sector is contracting - the question is whether the rate of that contraction has stabilized. The expected level for the Index is 44.5.

Adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 4, Dow futures up 12 and the N, asdaq futures 30 points above fair value.
WJR September 2001 reports
WJR July 2001 reports

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