Reliance Steel Upgrades Guidance, Dow Chem "Upgrades" Prices

1) Reliance Steel just jumped 5 percent as they updated guidance, raising it 30 percent from previous guidance, due to much higher increases in carbon steel prices.

2) Dow Chemicalis raising prices again, the second time in a month--by as much as 25 percent, joining other chemical producers who are being hit hard by higher oil and gas costs. How much higher? Dow says costs for have jumped fourfold over the past five years--they will spend $32 billion this year on energy bills (!!).

3) UPS down about 4 percent, as they copiedFedExby pre-announcing lower earnings on slower U.S. growth and higher fuel costs.

4) In autos:

--Cooper Tire cut production of tires due to lower demand. This is no surprises; the Street has been selling off Goodyear and Cooper since May on expectations that car sales would be weak.

--A Japanese paper said that Toyota is making plans to lower is group sales target for 2008, due to slower sales in the U.S. and a slowdown in luxury car sales in China

5) NYSE Euronext is buying a 25 percent stake in the Doha Securities Market (the principal stock market of Qatar) for $250 million--though the NYSE also has a stake in India and Brazil bourses, as well as strategic relationships with the Tokyo Exchange, this is the NYSE's largest investment in a foreign exchange to date. NYSE will hold three of the eleven board seats at DSM, and will provide proprietary technology systems and help to manage the exchange over the next five years. The deal is interesting, because Qatar owns 15 percent of the London Stock Exchange, and both NASDAQ and the LSE were reportedly also involved in the bidding.

6) In the food business, Krogerbeat estimates; ConAgra is raising earnings for the quarter just completed, though they didn't provide specifics.

7) UBSup about 5 percent on vague rumors that HSBCmight be interested in buying them--and while buying the biggest wealth management firm in the world at a comparatively low multiple sounds appealing, it seems awfully unlikely they would be able to pull off a deal of this size in the middle of the biggest banking downturn in decades, not to mention how much opposition would be seen in Switzerland if a London bank tried to buy the crown jewel of Switzerland.

Questions? Comments?