12:50 am Sunday Night Update ASIAN MARKETS DOWN SHARP

Monday, January 28, 2008

Nasdaq Futures down 28.00
S&P Futures down 19.00

itters over U.S. economic woes push Asia's regional benchmarks sharply lower Monday morning. Tokyo's Nikkei drops 2.8%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng falls more than 4.3%. Shanghai's Composite index plunges 7%.

Possible trade for tomorrow on gap down AAPL

Barrons’ “The Trader” column discusses Apple (AAPL), whose shares are down 35% in a month. At 130, shares trade at 20.7x forward earnings, the cheapest in a while. Stripping out its big cash stash, the stock trades at about 13x FCF. While the Street frets about slowing iPod sales, it's easy to forget Apple’s range. Mac revs grew 47% last qrtr. Unit sales are expected to increase at a pace more than double the industry's 11.6%, and Apple continues to gain share in the computer and phone mkts. Investors moaning about the 4m iPhones sold so far forget that Apple had no mobile-phone presence just a yr ago. Margins near 35% should improve with cheaper component prices, and Apple is rolling out its new operating system and iPhones overseas. In fact, Apple's knack for packaging aspiration and creating things ppl feel compelled to own will stand it in good stead in a spending slowdown. The new "MacBook Air," for instance, has inspired lust among existing laptop owners, and the buzz among young media types means consumer magazines will pant after it in print for mo’s to come. If history holds true, profit taking in Apple will exhaust itself about 21 days after the earnings report. Last week, Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner called the sell off "overdone." Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore has a 225 price tgt.