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Old 12-19-2003, 10:14 AM
jjgold jjgold is offline
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Default Stock Report Friday

:14 ET MKSI upgraded at Merrill Lynch 25.44: Merrill Lynch upgrades MKS Instruments to Buy from Neutral, citing the co high leverage to a capacity upturn in 2004, strong leverage to Applied Materials, broadening product portfolio, and improving cost structure. Target is $32.
07:12 ET Travelers Property and St. Paul deal highlighted favorably in B-Week (TAP.A) 16.23: BusinessWeek highlights Travelers Property, which recently agreed to merge with insurer St. Paul. Robert Lyon, president of Institutional Capital, suggests "The merger will create the second-largest commercial insurer in the U.S" behind AIG. The deal, notes Lyon, unites teams with "good chemistry," that worked together at Citigroup under Sandy Weill. Travelers is cheap, at eight times 2004 estimated earnings of $2 a share, says Lyon. He believes the stock could hit 20 before the deal closes in June.
07:10 ET Early Research Calls : BofA upgrades RHAT to Buy from Neutral... Morgan Stanley upgrades AA to Overweight from Equal-Weight; also downgrades FCX to Underweight from Equal-Weight... Wachovia downgrades PAYX to Mkt Perform from Outperform; also upgrades AMHC to Outperform from Mkt Perform... UBS upgrades TXI to Neutral from Reduce; also upgrades PWAV and CY to Buy from Neutral... CSFB upgrades BER to Outperform from Neutral... Merrill Lynch upgrades MKSI to Buy from Neutral; also downgrades AVE to Neutral from Buy... Piper Jaffray upgrades GYMB to Strong Buy from Outperform; also upgrades COH to Outperform from Mkt Perform; also upgrades ATVI, TTWO, THQI to Outperform from Mkt Perform... RBC Capital upgrades ARBA to Outperform from Sector Perform.
07:02 ET European Summary : European shares are holding their ground within a whisker of fresh 2003 highs, despite news that Bank of America rejected the authenticity of documents claiming Parmalat, the owner of Italy's biggest dairy, had cash and marketable securities worth 3.95 bln euros ($4.9 bln) at the end of last year. Semi-related stocks are mixed after news that orders for chipmaking equipment from North American manufacturers rose 7% in Nov from the prior month. Shares of the world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia (NOK) are trading up after the co told investors it had won an order worth $125 mln with a China Mobile unit. Luxury goods maker Gucci (GUC) was upbeat on the key Q4 as it reported a 17% rise in Q3 operating income after shoppers snapped up its pricey leather handbags. Reuters reports that the dollar teetered above the previous session's record low against the euro on Friday as further signs of strength in the U.S. economy did little to allay concern about the country's current account deficit.
07:02 ET Esperion could be poised for more upside -- B-Week (ESPR) 22.57: BusinessWeek highlights Esperion, which has increased from 17 a share to on Nov. 4 to as high as 26 on Nov. 6. The increase is attributed to a disclosure suggesting its intravenous drug ETC-216, designed to prevent further heart attacks in people who have just had one, was "safe and well tolerated" in clinical trials. Needham's Mark Monane suggests the stock may "zip" again given PFE, DNA and AVE potentially striking a deal any of the co's cardiovascular drugs. According to Monane, a deal to co-develop and co-market the drugs may come in three months.
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:05 PM
jjgold jjgold is offline
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08:54 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.5. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5. Expectations remain intact for a lackluster open as the futures market continues to hover around fair value... A dearth of earnings announcements and analyst commentary has contributed to the futures trade's ennui.

08:30 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.0. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.7. Futures trade indicates a relatively flat open with the indices not likely to make much headway in either direction... This week's up performance and yesterday's finish at new 52-week closing highs for the Dow and S&P 500 have left less incentive to bid up stocks.

08:01 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.8. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5. Futures indications pointing to a mixed open, with the Nasdaq expected to register modest losses in the opening action... Traders have booked some profits following yesterday's broad-based rally... Today marks a quadruple witching options expiration session, so a certainly amount of volatility would not be surprising.

07:56 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.9. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5.

07:55 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...4414.00...+16.70...+0.4%. DAX...3891.41...+20.33...+0.5%.

07:55 ET: [BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...10284.54...+180.54...+1.8%. Hang Seng...12371.75...+131.50...+1.1%.

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