Friday, September 14, 2007

Morning Note...

Futures down this morning on the NRK LN bailout (re-raising credit concerns in the US) and general European weakness.  August retail sales also rose slightly less than expected (+0.3% vs +0.5% expected).  But the July gain was revised to +0.5% from 0.3%.   While consumer spending looks sluggish, it’s not yet indicating recession.  Thus far, all indications are consistent with the projected 2% GDP growth for Q2.  

AXP downgraded at MLCO.  UBS, CSFB, & DBAB downgraded at Soc Gen.  WY upgraded at BofA.  

LIZ reaches agreement with Li & Fung USA on sale of four brands under strategic review.  ALK $100mm shares buyback.  HRH acquires insurance agency from BAC.  Amalgamated Gadget reports 17.6% stake in ITWO and urges company to pursue strategic alternatives, including sale.

Fed watch continues as nearly everyone expects a ¼% cut on September 18th.  We’ll probably trade in a pretty narrow range until then.

Announced Deals: 

Rockbay News:  CBRY LN rejects bid for beverage division due to unfavorable financing, SUG declares quarterly dividend, CP711 forecasts 15% growth, Barclays shareholders approve bid for ABN Amro, Ess Dee Aluminum (India) interested in AL’s packaging unit, continued articles/commentary on KKR’s delay of debt sale until next week – probably post-Fed.

Vito’s Trivia:   Which US state (of the contiguous 48) borders only one other state?

Yesterday’s Answer:  Assess, Banana, Dresser, Grammar, Potato, Revive, Uneven, & Voodoo have the following in common – take the first letter of each word and move it to the end.  It then spells, backwards, the original word.