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In reply to: jerry on Sunday 24/10/04 12:42pm

I should make it very clear that my post outlining "my take on oil" reflects my investment opinon only. I can be wrong and have been wrong in the past. Do not rely on my research, I'm not a professional investment advisor.


Investors should seek professional advice and do their own due diligence before investing.




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Not really a reply re. oil but has anyone noticed the spot price of gold this a.m.


Up 6$ US already. No world news to cause this that I can see, except the U.S.$

is tanking on the indexes.

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How good is good? This is the week when we all find out because over the next few days the five ugly sisters of the oil industry will show all.


First on the catwalk is BP with a statement scheduled for Tuesday (London time) which is tipped to reveal a 50% increase in profits over the quarter to September 30.


In close succession, like a series of models strutting the latest in Parisian fashion, will come ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch/Shell.


Collectively, the big five will deliver multi-billion increases in profits and raise a myriad of questions ranging from demands that they be reigned in by government edict, to requests from investors that they give it all away in the form of higher dividends and/or share buybacks.


Slugcatcher has his doubts, but there might even by a suggestion that the ugly five actually boost their exploration programs to fill the gap being left by depleting oil reserves.


All of these observations will have some validity because there's only one thing worse in business than going broke ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ and that's having more money than you know what to do with.


"Oh come now Slugcatcher, what have you been drinking", is the universal cry from readers shocked by that observation. To which Slugcatcher says, you may not like it, but it's true.


Every time the oil industry, or any industry for that matter, makes monster profits it causes more problems than those tight times when profits are elusive.


Perhaps it's a comment on economics and finance being such a dismal science that too few of us are brought up to know how to handle outrageous success. Perhaps it's just that outrageous success is such an odd phenomena ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ or perhaps it's just human nature that we always plan for the bad times, squirrel away our savings, and then have no idea what to do with a windfall.


Years ago, in fact the last time this problem came around, there was a famous poster of a Texan facing a wall, performing an act of nature, with the caption that read something like this: "Please let there be another boom, and I promise not to piss it up against the wall."


Well folks, we have that other boom, and the time is upon the industry when it must decide what to do with all the loot burning a hole in pockets from Houston to the Hague.


And, do not be surprised by the headlines when BP kicks third quarter reporting season off because already there are tips that profit in the three months to September was running at $US50 million a day ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ with Shell earning a similar amount every 24 hours.


Between them, BP and Shell, are said to be on the verge of delivering a collective third quarter profit of $US9 billion -- $US4.7 billion from Shell and $US4.4 billion from BP.


For headline writers, the idea of BP making $US50 million a day is fabulous. Why not turn that into something the man in the street relates to, such as $US2 million an hour, or $34,700 a minute, or $US578 a second.


The point is that the big boys of oil are going to have to tread very carefully through the minefield being laid by their own success.


They will have to explain the profits, justify them, detail how they propose to reward investors, deliver more oil to a thirsty market ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ and do all that without appearing to be the craven capitalists that they are.


All in all, get set for a fun week, and a wonderful example of how too much success can be a difficult thing.




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Oil price is not high



Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The media continues to describe the oil price as "high". I think it's still low. Within five years, today's price of US$53 per barrel will look like a bargain. By Peter Gibson


Oil market psychology has changed markedly this year. When the price held firm above US$30 the world was awash with dire predictions that global GDP would be cut by around 0.5% for every sustained US$10 per barrel rise.


When it held above US$40 there was surprise that consumers had accepted the increase so easily. Oil is now above US$50 and there is still little evidence of harm to consumers or economic growth.


In the face of this easy adjustment most commentators have given up spruiking a doomsday message. The real question now is how high the price can go before consumers react.


It should be noted that high oil prices hurt some consumers, notably Americans, more than others. High oil taxes mean the pump price for most European motorists has risen only 25 percent in the last year.


US motorists have been hardest hit as fuels are only lightly taxed, so the rising price of crude has a much greater influence on the pump price.


Australia's taxation level sits somewhere between the US and Europe. It's not so much the absolute price level that determines whether an economy suffers a price shock, but the size and speed of any price change. So what may be a shock for the US may merely be an inconvenience for other advanced economies.


I believe rising oil and other commodity prices will be the central theme of the next decade. This period will see continued rapid economic growth in China, India and other emerging countries, thus ensuring growing pressure on the price and availability of natural resources.


The shock for most westerners is the idea that many natural resources (not just oil) are becoming more expensive as demand growth outstrips supply growth. Once cheap, plentifully supplied and taken for granted, resources are set to move to the centre of the economic stage.


We can largely thank over one billion Chinese desperately clambering for a middle-class lifestyle. The lack of exploration and new mine development for many minerals over the last 15 years is also playing a role.


In the case of oil, there is overwhelming evidence our ability to easily increase production is deteriorating due to the accelerating rate of depletion in existing fields and the slowing rate of new discoveries.


The extent of this supply constraint is only just being understood by market commentators, and as I have stated for some years now, it will be the defining force in the oil market over the next decade.


Call it the Hubbert Curve, Peak Oil or just plain-old depletion, there is no escaping the fact that the world gets most of its oil from old fields that are past their prime. With insufficient new discoveries and developments to meet demand growth plus offset declining output from depleting fields, the world is clearly approaching a crunch-point where supply growth will fail to meet demand growth.


The only outcome of such a scenario is for the price to rise to a level that encourages new production from unconventional or high cost oil sources, as well as fuel-efficiency measures on the demand side of the equation.


The oil price probably needs to rise to around US$80 per barrel before there will be any serious impact on the global economy. This price would be roughly equivalent, in real terms, to the average price achieved during the early 1980s.


At this level consumers will have plenty of encouragement to conserve energy and to invest in alternative technologies, such as hybrid motor vehicles. This is a price at which consumers can continue to operate current technologies, albeit with some economic discomfort, while also spurring the introduction and adoption of energy-efficient technologies.


Appeals to conserve energy are laudable, but if you really want results the only solution is to make it financially worthwhile for people to change their consumption patterns.


For most of the last 60 years westerners have experienced flat or declining real prices for minerals and oil as technology has slashed production costs, our intensity of resource use has declined and as falling political risks have encouraged exploration and investment in resource-rich countries previously considered no-go zones.


But Chinese demand growth and physical constraints on resource supply have recently reversed this declining price trend. It is highly likely the current economic cycle will see sustained real price increases for many resource commodities. This will be a paradigm change for consumers and producers alike.




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In reply to: trader10 on Tuesday 26/10/04 08:11pm

Great find trader, the author thinks very much as I do. But I think there is more chance we will see an oil price shock going forward.


The only outcome of such a scenario is for the price to rise to a level that encourages new production from unconventional or high cost oil sources, as well as fuel-efficiency measures on the demand side of the equation.

The oil price probably needs to rise to around US$80 per barrel before there will be any serious impact on the global economy. This price would be roughly equivalent, in real terms, to the average price achieved during the early 1980s.


Note that there are long lead times to developing and transitioning to new sources of production. In the short term, the incremental contribution from unconventional fuel sources is likely to be immaterial. Similarly, with fuel efficiency measures - the average life of vehicle stocks prevents any rapid adjustment.


In the meantime, crude prices respond very dramatically and quickly to small - let alone structural - demand and supply imbalances. For the global market to find long-run equilibrium at US$80 a barrel we can expect an almighty price spike in the short term.


In any case, US$80 a barrel is not, in my opinion, sufficiently high to quickly rebalance oil markets - holding everything else constant. The price inelasticity of oil is extreme.


The most likely short term balancing mechanism, I think, is economic growth. The effect of the Asian Economic Crisis on global crude markets demonstrates that an economic slump of sufficient magnitude can contain oil demand growth sufficiently to relieve price pressure in crude markets. Especially if the economic slowdown is centered on those countries disproportionately contributing to acceleration in oil consumption - now China and India. Here again, however, there will be a lag between the onset of an output slump and a contraction in aggregate oil demand growth.


Oil Price Shock --> Economic Slowdown --> Aggregate Oil Demand Growth Contraction --> Oil Market Rebalancing --> New and Higher Equilibrium Oil Price


Also, remember that we are currently enjoying a terrific expansion in productivity on the back of both globalisation and recent technological developments - computers, internet, cell phones etc... I expect that oil prices will have to surge well into uncharted territory before the drag to economic output begins to kick in sufficiently to curb aggregate oil demand growth.


In my view, chances are that we will see an Hellacious Price Spike at some point in the next three to five years.



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PNG getting more attractive



Monday, November 01, 2004

MINERAL rich Papua New Guinea's renewed pitch for explorers and miners is continuing, with a soon to be flown aeromagnetic survey the latest initiative in a program that has already resulted in increased interest from majors and juniors alike.


Exploration licence applications are already significantly up on last year, and are approaching levels not seen since the late 1980s. On a macro scale, PNG has turned around the decline in the percentage of global exploration expenditure it has been attracting to just over 0.05% of the US$2.25 billion or so spent in 2003. (In 2002 it was below 0.05%).


Department of Mining records for 2003 total mineral exploration expenditure indicate that K46.85million (US$13.6 million) was spent.

Reported total exploration expenditure for the first 9 months to the end of September 2004 was K60.2 million. Significantly, K8.6 million of that amount was "grass roots" expenditure spent by companies trying to find mineral targets or, further define known prospects to bring them into the project category. This is seen as encouraging as explorers have only spent an average of K5.6 million per year since 2000 on this class of exploration.


Aside from providing improved digital data for explorers, a key to PNG's increasing popularity has been the new fiscal regime implemented over the past few years.


Features of the regime include an income tax rate of 30%, a 10% dividend withholding tax rate, and accelerated depreciation allowance ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ 25% declining base pool.


PNG also features a royalty rate of 2%, a generous 200% deduction of exploration expenditures and relaxed assessment of ring fencing.


Additional profits tax and the previous mining levy have been abolished, and capital gains aren't taxed. Fiscal stability agreements for 10 years can be implemented if required at a 2% income tax rate premium. Meantime PNG is reviewing state equity in mining projects.


All of which has seen PNG achieve an IRR on copper projects (after tax) of just under 14% in 2003, placing it fourth after Sweden, Chile and Argentina ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ some 16 places better than it rated in 1999.


A swag of new projects in the pipeline that PNG will be hoping further improve the fiscal fundamentals, include the Kainantu gold project (owned by Highlands Gold and currently being developed), and the Morobe gold and Wafi copper/gold projects owned by Harmony Gold.


Development of the 350,000 ounce per annum Morobe is set to begin next year, whilst Wafi/Golpu (300,000oz/80,000t of copper) could get the nod in 2006/07.


The mining world's eyes will also be on the Ramu laterite nickel project, with Chinese interests taking a stake in the potential US$650 million, 33,000tpa annum project earlier this year. Officials from the Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company are understood to have recently met with PNG officials in Port Moresby.


Also of note is the emerging Frieda copper/gold project which has a total resource of over 1 billion tonnes grading 0.5% copper and 0.3gpt gold. Within this is the relatively high grade Nena high sulphidation resource containing 60 million tonnes at 2% copper and 0.6gpt gold. Moreover the project recently recorded a drill intersection south of Nena of 230m at 2.12% copper and 1.21gpt gold.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Gold could pass US$450




Monday, November 22, 2004

MORE negative comments about the outlook for the US dollar could see gold crack the US$450 an ounce mark very soon, possibly this week.


Gold for December delivery closed on the New York Commodities Exchange on Friday at another 16 year high of US$447/oz. up US$4.10 on the day.


Dealers were encouraged by comments from US Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, that the world's appetite for dollar investments would eventually wane ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’Æâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“ leading to hopes that cash will flow into gold instead.


His remark, contained in a speech prepared for a bankers conference in Germany, was seen as a more optimistic view on the gold price than news that France is preparing to sell up to 600 tonnes of its gold reserves over the next five years.



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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Drop; Intel, Google Decline in Europe


Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures slumped as the dollar traded near a record low and oil extended last week's advance. Intel Corp. and Citigroup Inc. shares slid in Europe.


``I wouldn't buy stocks today,'' said Philippe Gijsels, who oversees $62 billion, including U.S. stocks, as chief strategist at Fortis's private investment unit in Brussels. ``Companies may face big problems with the rising oil price and falling dollar; there are also questions about whether the U.S. economy can continue to grow.''


Google Inc. fell after saying its co-founders plan to sell stock. Fannie Mae declined after the largest buyer of U.S. home loans was sued for securities fraud by Ohio's attorney general.


Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures expiring in December lost 4.6 to 1167.70 as of 10:16 a.m. in London. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 36 to 10,442 and Nasdaq-100 Index futures slid 7.5 to 1550.50. Twenty-seven of 29 Dow stocks trading in Europe declined.


U.S. stock benchmarks ended last week with their biggest declines in almost a month, as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the record current-account deficit may cause foreign investors to sell dollar-denominated assets. His comments spurred concern that higher interest rates may be necessary to attract overseas investment.


Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, dropped 18 cents to $23.98 in Germany. Citigroup, the biggest financial- services company, lost 10 cents to $45.05, also in Germany.


The dollar was close to a record low against the euro in London after German officials said the U.S. rejected calls to denounce ``volatile'' currency moves in a statement from the Group of 20 biggest economies.


The International Monetary Fund scaled down its expectations for world economic growth next year because of oil prices near records and the U.S. budget deficit, German Deputy Finance Minister Caio Koch-Weser said.


Google Sale


Google dropped $2.50 to $166.90 in Germany. The owner of the world's most-used Internet search engine said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt will sell 16.6 million shares over the next 18 months.


Fannie Mae fell 76 cents to $67.34, also in Germany. After trading closed last week, Ohio's attorney general accused the company of manipulating earnings to artificially inflate its share price. Brian Faith, a Fannie Mae spokesman, declined to comment on the suit.


PeopleSoft Inc. declined 23 cents to $22.94 in Germany. The software developer said its board remains convinced Oracle Corp.'s $24-a-share takeover bid is ``inadequate'' and said it won't sell the company for less than it's worth.


Oracle won the backing of a majority of PeopleSoft shareholders, who voted to tender their shares in support of Oracle's $8.8 billion bid by a Nov. 19 deadline. Oracle shares fell 42 cents to $12.33, also in Germany.


Earnings Expected


Campbell Soup Co. and Toys ``R'' Us Inc. are the two S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings before U.S. markets open. Neither stock traded in Europe.


Toys ``R'' Us, the world's largest toy-store chain, may report today before the market opens that its fiscal third- quarter net loss narrowed to 15 cents a share, the average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. It had a loss of 18 cents a year earlier.


Campbell, the world's biggest soupmaker, is expected to say today that fiscal first-quarter net income rose to 52 cents a share, the average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Thomson, from 51 cents a year earlier.


Krispy Kreme, TiVo


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. added 9 cents to $11.59 in Germany. The No. 2 U.S. doughnut maker will likely report before U.S. markets open that fiscal third-quarter net income fell to 13 cents a share, the average estimate of six analysts polled by Thomson, from 23 cents a year earlier.


Shares of TiVo Inc. may be active. The maker of digital video-recorders that can pause and replay live television is scheduled to say today that its fiscal third-quarter net loss widened to 44 cents a share, the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson, from 11 cents a year earlier.


Smallest Gain


Profits rose about 17 percent on a share-weighted average among the 476 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings by Nov. 17. That's the smallest gain since the second quarter of 2003. Third-quarter earnings increased about 21 percent in the third quarter of 2003, according to Thomson Financial.


The U.S. currency was recently trading at $1.3024, compared with $1.3022 late in New York on Nov. 19, according to EBS, an electronic currency dealing system.


Crude oil futures in New York gained 1.7 percent to $49.27 a barrel, extending a 4.8 percent surge on Nov. 19, on speculation falling temperatures in Europe will boost competition with the U.S. for heating fuel.


The IMF expects global growth of about 4 percent next year, compared with a 4.3 percent forecast published on Sept. 29, Koch- Weser said, citing comments by the fund's chief official, Rodrigo de Rato, to delegates at a meeting of the Group of 20 industrial and emerging economies in Berlin on Nov. 20 and 21.


Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc.'s Asia-Pacific Index, which tracks more than 900 companies, shed 1.8 percent and is headed for its biggest drop since June 3. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 2.1 percent, its steepest fall since Aug. 13.



US Futures


Dow -1.05% -110.00 10,478.00

NASDAQ -0.55% -8.50 1,549.50

S&P -0.39% -4.60 1,167.70



Wilshire 5000 -1.11% -127.92 11,480.63

Russell 2000 -1.39% -8.62 613.44

Philadelphia Semiconductor -3.09% -13.76 431.88

Dow Transports -1.23% -44.57 3,567.65

Dow Utilities -0.19% -0.61 324.79

NYSE Composite -0.80% -55.72 6,947.19

AMEX Composite -0.04% -0.55 1,364.81

Morningstar Index -1.95% -31.48 2,769.72


OIL 49.23 0.34

GOLD 447.40 0.40



Looking good for goldies and oilers here tomorrow ? http://www.ShareScene.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif


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