quinta-feira, 5 de abril de 2007

Before the Bell

Wall Street is starting the holiday weekend early today, and why not?

After five straight days of gains for the Dow, investors are a little reluctant to press their luck, and stock futures are pointing down. News that China's central bank raised reserve requirements for banks for the sixth time since June is adding to the cautious mood.

It doesn't help that some key economic data - the March payroll report - is coming out tomorrow, when the stock market is closed. Bond traders have no such restrictions, although that market will close early for Good Friday, and U.S. Treasuries are down a bit.

The dollar is steady against other major currencies. Oil prices are down, but still holding above $64 a barrel, with support coming from a big drop in gasoline inventories. Private equity firms may be flush with cash, but they can always use more.

A source says Apollo Management is looking at selling a stake in itself via a private placement or public offering. Meanwhile, another source says Carlyle Group is planning to launch a $1 billion hedge fund. It's shaping up to be a tense holiday at Southern California grocery stores. Their union has walked out of contract talks after three big chains authorized a lockout if a strike is called.

Wine and spirits company Constellation Brands reported higher earnings, but says a reduced harvest is in the stars this year because of weather in Australia.

Lisa Von Ahn - Editor

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