It’s Tuesday May 2, 2006, and over a million immigrant workers protested across the United States raising both the flags of their native countries and the American Flag. But some believe that this protest caused more harm than good while others call it a success, but only time will tell if it served its purpose. As we mentioned yesterday the protest was in regards to a bill that would make being an illegal immigrant in the United States a felony.

Several companies gave immigrant workers the “May Day” off to avoid an uproar at any of their facilities.

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Political Front

In Nepal, the politicians broke bread on Monday and worked out the details to form an interim cabinet after the King agreed to bring back the parliament to avoid any further bloodshed. But at this meeting the Maoist rebels that caused the change were not invited to the party.

As the United Nations is trying to figure out their next move to checkmate Iran, top diplomats from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will meet in Paris, France to work on their game plan on reigning in Iran’s aspirations for nuclear power.

In Italy, someone must have made the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi aware that he actually lost to Prodi as he will finally concede at some point today.

To round off news on the political front is the Supreme Court ruling yesterday that paved the way for former Playboy Playmate, reality TV show personality and the poster child of TrimSpa, Anna Nicole Smith to pursue the fortune of her late billionaire hubby in court.

Research in Motion Settles One Claim to Fight a New One

After coming dangerously close to a BlackBerry shutdown and finally settling with NTP for over $600 million, Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) faces a new adversary in the form of Visto Corp.

After coming off a successful victory in court that awarded Visto Corp $3.6 million in an infringement lawsuit against the Redwood City, California based Seven Networks, Inc, Visto has set it sights on the big dog Research in Motion and has ask a judge to stop Research in Motion from using Visto’s patented technology and award them unspecified damages. Just to throw our opinion on top this news blip, take a look at Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) if you are interested in a handheld technology company, it’s a better play and less legal woes.

Movers and Shakers

Some major movers in yesterday’s trading session included Aramark Corp (NYSE: RMK) which traded up $5.79 to close at $33.90, Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ) which traded up $3.85 to close at $30.68, Nova Chemicals (NYSE: NCX) which traded up $3.59 to close at $33.25, AGCO Corp (NYSE: AG) which traded up $2.64 to close at $26.31, Blue Dolphin Energy (NASDAQ: BDCO) which traded up $1.13 to close at $6.60, National Coal Corp (NASDAQ: NCOC) which traded up $1.88 to close at $11.20, Gigamedia (NASDAQ: GIGM) which traded up $1.45 to close at $9.72, and DXP Enterprises (NASDAQ: DXPE) which traded up $6.07 to close at $46.17.

Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades

Recent Analyst upgrades include Plexus Corp (NASDAQ: PLXS) which was upgraded to a Neutral from a Underweight by J.P. Morgan, Lyondell Chemical (NYSE: LYO) which was upgraded to a Outperform from a Neutral by Credit Suisse, Big 5 Sporting Goods (NASDAQ: BGFV) which was upgraded to a Buy from a Neutral by UBS, Automatic Data Processing or ADP (NYSE: ADP) which was upgraded to a Buy from a Hold by Deutsche Bank Securities, and Sotheby’s Holdings (NYSE: BID) which was upgraded to a Buy from a Neutral by Sidoti & Co.

Recent Analyst downgrades include Men’s Warehouse (NYSE: MW) which was downgraded to a Neutral from an Overweight by J.P. Morgan, American Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL) was downgraded to a Neutral from a Buy by Sidoti & Co, Holly Corporation (NYSE: HOC) was downgraded to a Hold from a Buy by Deutsche Bank Securities, Big Lots (NYSE: BLI) was downgraded to a Underperform from a Market Perform by Piper Jaffray, Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) was downgraded to an Underweight from a Equal Weight by Lehman Brothers and Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) was downgraded to an Underweight from a Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley.

Recent Analyst Coverage Initiations include Nextest Systems (NASDAQ: NEXT) which was initiated with an Outperform rating by Cowen & Co, Tradestation Group (NASDAQ: TRAD) was initiated with a Buy rating and a price target of $22 by Sidoti & Co, Invitrogen Corp (NASDAQ: IVGN) was initiated with a Buy rating and a $80 price target by Deustche Bank Securities, Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ) was initiated with a Buy rating and a $50 price target by Citigroup Investment Research, and Oshkosh Truck Corp (NYSE: OSK) was initiated with a Outperform and a price target of $75 by Barrington Research.

Tid Bits

The powerhouse Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts better known as KKR has major plans to raise over $5 billion in an overseas fund aka an IPO that will change the face of private equity firms and how they raise funds. KKR was the king of leveraged buyouts and continues to reign supreme in the area of raising capital for buyouts. They are innovators in that area and they have just proved that once again, as they will have access to a huge pot after its said and done.

The CEO of Comverse Technology (NASDAQ: CMVT) as well as two other executives of the company have handed in their resignations amid a potential probe into the timing of stock options grants This is one of a few companies that have faced this issue as of late, one other company that comes to mind is UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) who has been feeling the pain of the media. Other companies are sure to be hit with this latest issue on the table somewhere down the road..

Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT) will spend over $1 billion to acquire the privately held company TelCove Inc in cash and stock in a bid in an effort to extend its communications network into cities and pick up business clients

News Corp (NYSE: NWS) is looking at the Internet as a source for additional growth and they would be right about that. They have purchased two Internet companies, one by the name of Newroo, Inc and the other for their Fox Interactive Media unit. These sites allow users to remix their music and media online.

As we were talking about leveraged buyouts ala KKR, the casino and resort operator Kerzner International (NYSE:KZL) may be bought out by a group of investors led by its chairman and chief executive officer who will pay approximately $3.2 billion, or more than 6 percent above its previous offer.

Readers Speak

We received a question from one of our readers/listeners Darry from Washington State and he wanted to know if Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and post split Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) were still good buys even thought they both were traded down yesterday.

Darry, Thank you for the question, and now to give you our view of the situation, the financial industry, more specifically, the brokerage and banking industries are in vogue. Even though certain banks will begin to offer various products that would normally require a fundraising by companies, it will have little impact on companies like Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. Actually To answer your question specifically, GS coming down a bit and in our view it presents more of a buying opportunity than any negative sentiment. Lehman just completed a 2 for 1 stock split so that has to settle down a bit but it also presents a buying opportunity. Other stocks that you may want to look at in the financial industry include E-Trade(NYSE: ET), Tradestation (NASDAQ: TRAD), Citigroup (NYSE: C), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).


This is the second of our “Furious Five” companies that we see excelling in their industry in 2006. The second addition to this week’s Furious Five is G-III Apparel Group (NASDAQ: GIII) it trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol GIII.

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We cannot stress enough that investors need to do their due diligence, call the companies, get the information, consult with your investment advisor and if you do not have one consider getting one. Put the same time into investigating these companies as you do when you go to purchase a new television, it’s only for your protection. When it comes to thinly traded securities stagger your orders or put a limit order in to avoid a run up.

NAMC Newswire Note



By yanam49

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