Posts filed under “Financial Press”
Traders woke up to a pleasant surprise on Tuesday morning, with equity Futures strongly higher. CNBC anchors were exuberant as previous earnings and credit fears melted away.
The cause? An internet April Fool’s hoax that backfired.
Dedicated short fund manager Doug Kass, of Seabreeze Partners Short LP, put out an early morning, tongue-in-cheek commentary, titled Time to Buy the Bull? The long time Bearish market pundit and writer for The Street.com and Real Money announced that he was raising his year end price targets for the S&P500 to 1,666, which would reflect a yearly gain of 26%.
The Financial press read the commentary literally. The WSJ announced "Bear Flips Bullish!," causing equity futures to rally. CNN Money covered the joke as if it were a real news item, and Marketwatch declared "Short Seller Starts Stock Rampage." Barron’s headline read "Longtime Bear Tosses in the Towel; Says New Bull Market is Upon Us."
Bloomberg data service ran a full news alert, specifying the details of the longtime Bear’s hoax, without recognizing it wasn’t real:
- The writedown of toxic paper throughout the world’s financial system has dramatically overstated the severity of the credit issue.
- The major money center banks and brokers will be a contributing factor to a surprising 25%+ rise in corporate profits.
- Shares of financials, which have been unfairly targeted by the short community over the last year (monoline insurers, banks, brokerages, etc.), could double in price by year-end.
- Oil prices, stimulated almost entirely by managed commodity trading funds and hedge funds are destined to drop below $50/barrel by year end.
- The U.S. economy will avoid recession, as housing has definitely bottomed;
Bloomberg failed to note these comments were all in jest, adding to the upwards market pressure.
The veteran fund manger had assumed that readers would get the April
Fool’s joke — but never imagined it would go over the heads of veteran
Shortly after the open, US equities were in a strong rally mode. The Dow was up over 230 points, and Nasdaq had gained almost 2%, up 50 points.
The short seller issued a sheepish mea culpa that morning. "I apologize to my partners, and to my friends, and especially to the SEC, for whom I have the greatest possible respect. I never intended markets to be manipulated in this manner. I was only trying to make some traders, who have been having a tough year, break a smile . . .
One part of the hoax turned out to have a surprising result. As part of the April fool’s joke, Kass announced he would host a new CNBC show, called "The Mad Bull," at 4:30 p.m. EDT daily and after "The Closing Bell." CNBC program director Bill McChesney said that the station had already test marketed the idea, and the show had a very enthusiastic response. The program "The Mad Bull" will begin airing in June.
Time to Buy the Bull?
Real Money Silver, 4/1/2008 7:44 AM EDT
Short Seller Starts Stock Rampage
Marketwatch, April 1, 2008
Longtime Bear Tosses in the Towel; Says New Bull Market is Upon Us
Barron’s, April 1, 2008
Bear Flips Bullish!
WSJ, April 1, 2008
Yesterday, I noted how pokey and bug laden the videos are on CNBC.com, saying "I sure wish CNBC would get hip to embeddable flash media, like
BrightCove. The klunky old windows media players crash all the time. (I
don’t understand why they went with this 10 year old technology)."
At least CNBC — crash-prone, buggy, ugly and slow — will play on a Mac.
The Bloomberg video — also crash-prone, buggy, ugly and slow — is Windows only! I can play the video, but not the audio, on a Safari or Firefox browser for OSX.
And speaking of bugs, Bloomberg is the one of that odd collection of web based video that can’t/won’t be captured by a screen grab on a Windows machine. That means that any Bloomberg video you see here (like this one) is the result of watching and coding it on a Dell in the office, than grabbing the (silent audio) video part on the Mac at home, and combining the two.
Don’t you want people promoting your brand and your content?
Its not like Bloomie doesn’t know what embeddable flash is — if you go to this page, their promotional video is not WMP — its flash based! No loading delay, no glitches, just straight up video.
Hey Bloomberg.com & CNBC.com:
You folks are paying for the shooting, editing, storing, hosting and bandwidth usage of all this video. I assume you actually want people to see it — to sell subscriptions, to roll adverts, to brand your product. You are spending all of this money for a product that sends people running in the opposite direction.
Every time I post a video from either of your sites, I get email telling me it crashed their browser, or even worse their computer. It is slow, ugly and to be blunt, unprofessional. Your online video product is in fact damaging your brands. (CNN/Money’s video auto roll is another bit of annoyance, but we’ll save that for another day).
Of all the major Financial media that run video, only WSJ and NYT seem to have gotten it right.
Um, its 2008. Can we get with program? The embeddable flash video is circa 2006. Can you find it
in your business models to only be 2 years — not 10 — behind the
technological adoption curve?
One of themes we’ve looked at over the years is the spin that some trade groups put out on top of their data releases. Some Trade Associations, like the ATA tonnage index, or the Home Builders Index, simply put out the straight dope — an unvarnished, unblinking look at their industries, so their members can…Read More
Okay, its Easter, and I know many readers have other things to do — but since this was such a topsy turvy week, with so much going on, I thought we needed to do at least post an abbreviated linkfest:
Day by day, the week gave credence to the belief that markets have no memory: Down 150 most of Monday, only to close up 21, then up 420 on Tuesday, off nearly 293 on Wednesday, and finally tacking on 261 on Thursday!
The gains were due primarily in belief that the Fed has the credit crisis under control, as interest rates came down, and commodities prices finally cracked.
Indeed, the Commodities were at the back of the pack this month, free-falling 8.6%, as Gold tumbled 7.9%, and Oil plummeted 6.3%.
Somewhat surprisingly, the European and Emerging market stocks got hit also, falling 2.4 and 4.3% respectively. In the US, the gainers were Nasdaq (+2.1%), Russell2000 (+2.8%), S&P500 (+3.2%), and Dow Industrials (+3.4%). The big winner were REIT stocks, up 7.9%.
In the coming week, we Existing Home Sales on Monday, followed by Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales on Wednesday. Thursday brings the final Q4 2007 GDP, which now seems like it was years ago. On Friday, we get Personal Income and Outlays, and Consumer Sentiment.
Category: Financial Press