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Disney Earnings Look Set to Dazzle


Declining DVD sales can't douse the House of Mouse.

Minyan Morning Memo

One to watch: Walt Disney (DIS) is due to report fiscal third-quarter earnings at the close. Shares of the entertainment juggernaut and world's biggest media entity have been a strong performer in '09 and the company has a habit of posting results that beat the Street.

Its Pixar movie division is looking Up -- the story of Ed Asner as an animated septuagenarian is a surprisingly lucrative hit with America's youth, and a seemingly self replenishing supply of Hannah Montanas and Jonas Brothers are a continuing boon to its cable channel.

Theme-park attendance has held surprisingly steady in this environment, albeit at the cost of price cuts. Thorny issues exist -- from declining DVD sales to the enduring mystery of how to best monetize its Internet assets -- but for now, it's hard to grouse about the House of Mouse.

What just happened: Stocks slipped for a second successive session yesterday as commodities cooled and crude experienced its steepest decline since April on an increase in inventories. On the bright side, the Fed's nationwide survey encompassing 12 regions and known as the "beige book" skipped Chapter 11 and showed a stabilizing if far from stellar economy.

What's happening: Asia ended up a 6% increase in Sony (SNE) shares ahead of earnings boosting the Nikkei. Europe is ahead after AstraZeneca (AZN) and BT Group (BT) were among companies whose results exceeded expectations. Here at home, futures are higher. Oil is asking "will you still need me when I'm 64?" after hitting $64.27 today. And expect shares of Boston Beer (SAM) to skyrocket as the president, professor, and policeman share an ale in the West Wing following that Beantown brouhaha. Unfortunately, local hero and inspiration for America's most famous barman won't be serving them as he recently joined the nation's legion of jobless.

What will happen: In economics, the day's key data are already out in the form of weekly jobless claims, which were up a greater-than-expected 25,000 to 584,000. It's a busier day in earnings, with releases from Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Air France-KLM, Apache (APA), AmeriSourceBergen (ABC), Becton, Dickinson (BDX), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Dow Chemical (DOW), Expedia (EXPE), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Franklin Resources (BEN), Kellogg (K), MasterCard (MA), McAfee (MFE), MetLife (MET), Motorola (MOT), Nintendo, Siemens (SI), Travelers (TRV), and Waste Management (WMI). Bonds everywhere will hope to be stirred, not shaken by a $28 billion sale of (00)7 year notes. The Last Action Hero (truly, for where's the heirs to movie Methuselahs Harrison Ford, Sly Stallone, and Schwarzenegger?) turns 62 today. In slicing his Carvel creation, at least Arnie can readily turn to the knife used to cut last week's let-them-eat-cake California budget.

Happenstance: While response to this week's Treasury auctions has been between tepid and sluggish, another auction promises to garner greater interest. The sale of Madonna's love letters, scarlet and otherwise, is well under way and already attracting attention.
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