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  • Baltic Morning News

     

    Another leg down. Weakness on Tallinn Stock exchange continued on Monday with index OMXT closing down 3.2%. The biggest losers were again Olympic Casino (-5.6%), Tallink (-5.3%) and Baltika (-7.9%). However, it is interesting to note that Riga and Vilnius have fared relatively well despite widespread weakness in Tallinn. While Tallinn is down 7.8% from last Thursday, Riga and Vilnius have dropped just 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively. On the other hand, given that Tallinn is also the strongest gainer ytd, it not surprising.

    Estonia’s GDP growth at 11.2%. According to Statistics Estonia, by flash estimations the economic growth in Estonia was 11.2% in the Q4/06 yoy. In comparison, Latvia’s economy expanded 11.9% in Q4/06, probably the fastest pace in EU. Hence, Estonia seems to take the second position. Revised numbers are due on Mar 12. The growth was 11.3% in Q3 and 11.7% in Q2 and Q1.

    Tallink (Neutral) reports passenger figures. Number of passengers increased 122.9% in January yoy to 383k passengers, of which 214k come from new lines (Latvia-Sweden, Finland-Germany, Finland-Sweden). At the same time, passenger traffic on old lines (Estonia-Finland, Estonia-Sweden) was down 1.5%. Transportation of cargo units increased 172.9% (old lines +22.3%) and number of carried passenger vehicles increased 84.1% (old lines +1.5%). The strong increase in cargo units can be attributed to Superfast vessels, which started operating on Tallinn-Helsinki route in mid January.

    Latvian currency needs devaluation? Morten Hansen, the Head of Department of Economics in Stockholm School of Economic in Riga said to Latvian radio station MixFM that Latvian litas may have to be devaluated if inflation will not come down and the politicians lack the will to do something about it. According to Ministry of Finance, the average inflation for 2007 is predicted at 6.7% (7.1% in Jan). The problem with current account deficit was also considered serious.

    Smaller retailers going down. BBN writes that last year, one in two bankrupt companies in Lithuania were engaged in commerce and strong competition was the major barrier to their activities. In the first three quarters of 2006, the number of bankrupt commercial companies grew 22.3% and in amounted to ca 350 for the full year. At the same time, survey by Statistics Lithuania shows that turnover grew in almost every larger shopping centre in 2006.

  • JP Morgan upgrades MasterCard (MA 102.08) to Overweight from Neutral

    JP Morgan downgrades Hansen Natural (HANS 41.91) to Neutral from Overweigh

    tGoldman downgrades Hansen Natural (HANS 41.91) to Neutral from Buy

    Credit Suisse upgrades Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW 28.14) to Outperform from Neutral and raises their tgt to $37 from $27 saying they believe opportunities for long-term earnings growth are underappreciated and the risk/reward is favorable. The firm says while they do not expect a stellar 4Q report on 2/20, they believe this is embedded in the stock, and with short interest at 40% of the float, a hint of any bright spots could lead to a short squeeze

    Citigroup kommenteerib taas Motorola (MOT) probleeme:

    ➤ Data-points and checks point to disappointing results for the Motofone.➤ While the short-term impact to results should be limited, it clearly illustratesanother example of Motorola's struggle to transition to a new gen of handsets.➤ Our forecasts assume that Motofone will contribute half a penny to EPS in 1Q.The more critical product for them in 1Q is KRZR. This product is expected toaccount for almost all of the profit for the handset business.➤ Consequently, we also note that the demand weakness of Motofone may havebigger impact to handset component suppliers than Motorola near-term.➤ Longer-term, however, it could slow the upward trajectory of Motorola'smarket share. Second, mgmt had been hoping to trade out its existing low-endC11x products, which are losing money, to the higher-margin Motofone.➤ While valuation and the Icahn-factor limits downside, the stock likely will notmove upward until confidence around the handset portfolio returns.

  • Big Test for the Market

    By Rev Shark
    RealMoney.com Contributor
    2/13/2007 8:52 AM EST
    Click here for more stories by Rev Shark

    "Take nothing on its looks: take everything on evidence. There's no better rule."

    -- Charles Dickens

    After the sharp pullback last Friday and the continued weakness yesterday, we have very good conditions for a test of the market's health. Throughout the fourth quarter the bulls roared back every time we had any sort of softness. Pullbacks were not a source of increased fear or worry; they were great buying opportunities.

    After the action yesterday the indices are very short-term oversold and due for a bounce. The intensity of a bounce at this point is going to provide some good evidence about the ongoing health of the rally that started last summer. If the bulls jump in once again and recoup a good chunk of the points that were lost over the last couple of days of trading, it will be a sign that sentiment remains positive and buying power robust.

    On the other hand, if we manage only a weak bounce and don't see some resumption of leadership by the big-cap technology stocks that have led to the downside lately, it will be a tip-off that buyers are losing confidence and looking for exit points. If the sellers are intent on using a bounce to exit, then we know we face some problems in the near term.

    Keep in mind that the major indices are still holding up technically, as you can see from these charts. However, the Nasdaq in particular is at a key juncture where further downside will complete a topping pattern and put us in danger of a downtrend.

    The small-caps and the S&P 500 are in much better shape technically but continued relative weakness in the Nasdaq has the potential to spill over to the broader market.

    I'm looking for some attempt at a bounce here but I'm not sure it is going to last long enough and be strong enough to be readily tradable. Nonetheless it should keep us from being overly aggressive on the short side.

    We have a mildly positive start to the day with takeover talk of AA creating some positive emotions. Overseas markets are mostly higher. Gold is up and oil stable after a big drop yesterday.
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    Trade Balance -$61.2 bln vs -$59.5 bln consensus
  • Täna on esimene päev, mil kauplemist alustati Jaapani jeeni-põhise ETF-iga - sümboliks FXY ja nimeks Currency Shares Japanese Yen Trust . FXY järgib pidevalt jeeniliikumisi ning arvestades Jaapani panga võimalike intressitõstmiste ja carry-trade efekti üle spekuleerimisi, on antud ETF-i moodustamine igati aktuaalne.
  • "Take nothing on its looks: take everything on evidence. There's no better rule."

    -- Charles Dickens

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