The market is ready to shrug its way higher this morning.
Yesterday, stocks -- or at least a very narrow measure of them -- were able to shrug off enough of the negative sentiment inspired by
Y2K-related profit warning to close respectably mixed. This morning, they'll have to shrug off negative warnings from a couple of old familiars,
Gillette issued its latest profit warning
last night, and Waste Management this morning confirmed that its third-quarter results will be hurt by a review of its accounting procedures.
But looking at the stock futures right now, yesterday's late upside momentum hasn't left Wall Street yet. At 9 a.m. EDT, the
futures were up 6.2, about 10 points above fair value and indicating a strong open.
"Part of it is a response to the sentiment that
the recent selling pattern was definitely overdone," said Doug Myers, vice president of equity trading at
. "A lot of people put a fork in it and said, 'Let's eat.'"
Perhaps. But you wouldn't be faulted for doubting the market's early strength today, given how volatile it's been lately and how stiff the competition from the bond market has been looking. The 30-year Treasury was lately up 6/32 to 96 31/32, putting its yield at a still rather succulent 6.351%.
Myers also expects a bit of short covering as the session progresses: "You tend to see a flattening of positions going into the end of the week. If people got short these couple of days, you'll see them cover."
No major economic data are scheduled for release today.
In Tokyo, the
fell 9.47 to 17,438.80. The benchmark index had risen as high as 17,607.66 early in the session, but that strength was tempered by the yen, which picked up strength after the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry
said that Japan's all-industry activity index rose a solid 1.2% in August from July. Investors fear that a strong yen will damage profits at Japan's big export-oriented companies.
The dollar moved from around 106.2 yen toward the 105.2 level in Tokyo trading. It was lately quoted at 105.55 yen.
Hong Kong fared much better, with the
gaining 340.08, or 2.7%, to 12,863.08 amid rumors of more telecommunications takeovers and hopes that the government's first floating of its blue-chip
on Monday won't dry up liquidity as much as previously feared. The Tracker Fund is a
unit trust holding much of the stock the government acquired during its $15 billion market intervention in August of last year.
Yesterday, Hang Seng constituent
said it would raise about $33 billion in stock, cash and debt by selling a controlling stake in U.K. mobile-phone company
Today's big telecom deal is coming out of Germany, where
set plans to buy the
wireless assets in Poland, Hungary and Russia for about $2 billion.
Deutsche Telekom was helping drive Frankfurt's
up 94.31, or 1.8%, to 5340.80 around midsession. The other big European indices were also solidly higher, with the Paris
up 73.16, or 1.6%, to 4675.55, and London's
up 83.3, or 1.4%, to 6022.6.
Friday's Wake-Up Watchlist
Consumer goods giant
dropped some bad news after the market closed, warning that it sees fourth-quarter sales and earnings declining as it tries to trim excess inventory. Gillette said it expected its results to bounce back and return to high growth rates "in the near future," according to
took a look at Gillette's announcement in a
story last night. The company announced third-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, in line with the downward-revised 12-analyst
First Call/Thomson Financial
estimate and up from the year-ago 30 cents. Separately, Gillette said its board authorized the repurchase of an additional 25 million shares as part of its stock buyback plan, bringing the total plan to 100 million shares.
, the garbage-hauling titan, warned that preliminary findings from an internal audit will likely "have a material unfavorable impact" on the company's third-quarter and full-year results.
reached a pact early today that is expected to clear the way for overhauling Depression-era banking laws,
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
mobile-phone assets in Poland, Hungary and Russia for $2 billion.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
(Earnings estimates are from First Call/Thomson Financial.)
posted third-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, a penny better than the six-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 15 cents a share.
said third-quarter sales rose 14% over last year, but income before taxes fell 19% from the year-ago period.
posted a third-quarter loss of $2.29 a share, which includes a restructuring charge. The six-analyst estimate was for a $2.27 loss, while the year-ago report was a $3.53 loss, which also included a restructuring charge.
U S West
posted third-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst estimate of 80 cents and the year-ago 75 cents.
sliced its price target on
to intermediate-term neutral from intermediate-term accumulate for valuation reasons and "a significant increase in our operating-loss estimates" for fiscal year 2000. Merrill maintained its long-term buy rating on Inktomi, however.
upped its 1999 earnings estimates for
by 9% and its fiscal 2000 estimates by 19%, while maintaining its buy rating.
Deutsche Bank sliced its 1999 earnings estimates for
by 5% and its fiscal 2000 estimates by 10%, while maintaining its market perform rating.
Merrill Lynch upgraded
to intermediate-term buy from accumulate.
said it plans to roll out its fastest
chips on Monday without its highly anticipated 820 chipset family, which PC makers such as
are relying on for their own products' production. The 700-megahertz chipset will compete with
Advanced Micro Devices'
The Inside Wall Street column in
, written by Gene Marcial, offers up a favorable item on
, quoting an unidentified New York money manager, who has been buying the stock, as saying that the defense giant "has emerged as the top buyout choice for the likes of
'' in light of the consolidation taking place in the European aerospace arena.
Also, the column cites Richard Bookbinder, head of
Bookbinder Capital Management
, a hedge fund, who thinks
Silicon Valley Bancshares
is on its way to 50 a share. The stock closed yesterday at 27 5/8.
is also the subject of a bullish item in the column.