With the Treasuries and futures markets closing early today, and with many traders opting for the beach towel rather than the desk, it should be a slow day ahead of the long weekend.
"Its gonna be very quiet," says
Larry Wachtel. "We're going to open on a firm note, though."
The futures and Treasury markets are signaling a strong open. The
futures closed last night 2 points above fair value. Now, they're up 2.25 and well into buy territory. The 30-year Treasury bond is up 7/32 at 95 21/32, pushing the yield down to 6.97%.
Traders say that they'll be watching
, which got upgraded by
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
Traders will also be eyeing disk-drive makers like
. Those companies have been under pressure ever since
noted in its earnings breakout earlier this weak that it saw pricing pressure in the sector.
"It's probably a bit overdone," says a trader of the recent downturn. "There's some truth to it, but its more of a cyclical truth."
for $17.50 a share. Palmer closed at 12 1/16 on Thursday.
Several newspapers are reporting that Peter Lund, president of
division has resigned over CEO Michael Jordan's restructuring plans.
Several papers also report that negotiators in tobacco talks have tentatively agreed on several key issues, including reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes. The joke going around Wall Street (hey, it's slow ahead of Memorial Day) is that the tobacco companies have conceded that, yes,
cigarettes do cause cancer.
is close to selling its Minneapolis-St. Paul cable systems to privately-held
for $600 million.
In Tokyo, the
pulled its head above 20,000, with global blue-chips -- up on a more stable foreign exchange market -- leading the way.
SNE ADR), helped by an announcement that it would institute a U.S.-style management structure, moved up 280 yen to 9680. The Nikkei closed up 131.61 at 20,009.00.
Hong Kong stocks moved to a record high. Red-chips led the way, driven by the high subscription rate for the initial public offering of
, the investment arm of the city of Beijing. Some investors see buying investment firms listed on the Hong Kong exchange, like Beijing Enterprises, as a way to play China without the risks inherent in investing in the China stock market.
The firmer dollar helped Germany's export-oriented stock market move higher, but with the British and U.S. markets closed Monday, volume was light. The
closed at 3602.19, up 22.77.
A quiet day in Britain, where stocks have drifted a little higher. The
is up 11.40 at 4663.20.