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Dell Aims At Your Pockets, Pocketbooks


Computer maker developing handheld Web device.

Minyanville Morning Memo

One to Watch:
The Wall Street Journal reports Dell (DELL) may make a play for your pocketbook with a pocket-sized Internet device. The world's second largest PC maker has slipped since its direct sales salad days but tech stocks have outperformed of late, and this could get the attention of a market preparing to hit the beach. "My name is Michael, I got a nickle," sang a song from the '70s. Mr. Dell has much more than that; the company's sitting on a cash hoard of over $10 billion. Deploy it right and former glories, if not market share, could be regained.

What Just Happened: Bernie Madoff will see his lock-up expire in 150 years, unless Bernie Goetz administers some vigilante justice. Stocks rose on thin volume. "Where's the beef?" was not a question being asked as Benihana (BNHN) gained in extended trading following earnings. And Argentina sizzled after midterm elections.

What's Happening: World stock markets are on course for their best quarterly gain in a generation. Asia ended up and the FTSE is in the green, though those who actually appear on Britain's banknotes are evidently fairing less well. Back to the futures: here at home equities are currently indicating a positive start as the S&P 500 looks to complete its best 3-month spell since 1998. But there will be blood if crude continues to creep higher; as oil is up again. Treasuries are poised to post their steepest first-half decline in 3 decades. And "Where's the beef" was a question being asked as McDonald's (MCD) announced an Indian expansion, its offerings including a Chicken Maharaja Mac.

What Will Happen: All eyes are on window dressing and a Windy City. Be wise to portfolio repositioning ahead of quarter end and the Chicago PMI report at 10:00 AM Eastern. Other economic indicators out this morning include Redbook retail sales, the Case-Shiller home price index, and consumer confidence from the Conference Board.

Happenstance: Yesterday I warned against efforts of burying bad news in slow news cycles. Case in point: Biogen (BIIB), which fell 5.5% after an ill-advised attempt to slip in some inauspicious information on a Friday evening.
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