PPI Shows Inflation Still Strong, But LIBOR Rates Are Down

LIBOR rates are down today, admittedly only slightly; but it's a start. Asian markets closed down about 2 percent; Europe also down about 2 percent. Retail sales and jobless claims good, but Producer Price Index indicates wholesale inflation stronger than expected.

Lehman beats expectations,

earnings coming in at $1.54 vs. expectations of $1.42. Revenues of $4.4 billion ahead of expectations of $4.2 billion. Fixed Income, as expected, reported a sizeable loss of $830 million, but Equities posted record net revenues of $1.9 billion. Investment Banking down only 3 percent.

Honeywell follows MMM with good guidance for fiscal 2008: $3.65-$3.80 vs. expectations of $3.67. They also reiterate 2007 guidance; conference call going on now. "While there is greater uncertainty in the outlook for the global economy in 2008, we're confident in out ability to deliver another great year," CEO Dave Cote said.

Costcocame in in-line with expectations, but had absolutely nothing to say about how business is doing and nothing about 2008 guidance. They gave preliminary 2008 guidance on October 10.

Another foreign government buys into a U.S. corporation. Dow Chemical up 10 percent pre-open after announcing a 50-50 joint venture with the government of Kuwait's petrochemical company. The JV will manufacture and market polyethylene and other chemicals and will employ 5,000 people worldwide. Looks like Dow is selling a 50 percent interest in the business assets, then each party will take a 505 equity interest in the joint venture itself.

Oil refiners have been dramatically underperforming energy stocks recently because gasoline price increases have not kept up with oil price increases, putting pressure on margins. Today Deutsche Bank upgraded Sunoco as it looks like crude might be coming off its highs.

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