Another week, another milestone: The Dow added 87 points, or 0.7%, closing up for the week despite Friday’s hiccup. Barron’s Trader column notes this was the "fifth straight week of gains, as gauged by the Dow and S&P 500, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%, its fourth weekly gain in the last five, to reach 2350."
The Bulls can point to Earnings, which continued to be excellent, a few notable exceptions aside. Guidance is where the Bears can rest their case.
No matter: another week pregnant with earnings, and quite a bit of economic data: NAPM , Construction Spending and ISM mid-week, Productivity and Factory Orders Thursday, then everyone’s favorite, Non Farm Payroll (tho Given the massive revisions NFP has seen, perhaps we should be putting less stock in these initial numbers).
That’s what’s upcoming; Here’s what’s outgoing: an Autumnal linkfest!
• Uh-Oh: How Good Are Earnings Really?
• The Hedge-Fund legend has some critical words about the industry he helped to create 40 years ago: Ten Questions: Michael Steinhardt; Speaking of hedge fund legends: Soros, Bacon, Jones Hedge Funds Lag Behind S&P 500
• John Bogle, founder and former CEO of mutual fund house Vanguard Group, advisers investors to "Revise Your Market Expectations"
• The risk of reward: Betting on an increase in market
• The rally from the Summer lows has shifted leadership — the past few weeks has seen Energy and Materials stock re-assert themselves in: Two-horned bull?"
• Options Scorecard: An updated look at more than 120 companies that have come under scrutiny for past stock-option grants.
• I did not you know this: The Street.com is now rating stocks: TheStreet.com Ratings
• Why Your ‘Lizard Brain’ Makes You A Bad Investor — and How to Battle Back (See also You’re Just Not Built For It) See also this academic study explaining why sometimes more information often leads to worse investor decisions; The culprit is investor overconfidence;
• MacroMaven’s Stephanie Pomboy discusses "A Yen for Risk"
The Wall of worry continues to build:
• Treasury Secretary Paulson is hoping the Wealth Effect of Stocks will make up for Real Estate; That’s a bad bet;
• The full article is a rather fascinating discussion of today’s "lower upper class," which is seething about the
ultra-wealthy: Revolt of the fairly rich
• On the economy, there is a plethora of both Good news and bad news• Pretty mediocre: Wal-Mart’s October U.S. Same-Store Sales Rose About 0.5 Percent
• A Bloomberg video twofer:
As expected, the Fed did nothing (and said less):
• WSJ’s Greg Ip on Why Fed Might Keep Rates on Hold Longer Today Than It Did in 1995 (If no WSJ, go here)
• Seinfeld at the FOMC: Something about nothing also could describe the meeting of the FOMC. Nothing changed in terms of the target rate for federal funds, which has stood at 5 1/4% since last July. And the statement: a lotta yada, yada, yada.
• All this aside, Treasuries saw gains the 2nd Week in a row as Fed Leaves Rate Unchanged
• Pimco’s Paul McCulley always has something interesting in his Global Central Bank Focus
• Barron’s Alan Abelson cites research by Merrill Lynch’s David Rosenberg regarding the recent "stabilization" in Housing. It turns out that the only thing which is stabilizing is inventory — but at extremely high levels (If no Barron’s go here)
• CNN on the The New Rules of Real Estate
• Last week, I mentioned an auction of ~50 prime properties in Florida. Here’s how that worked out: 14 of the 51 properties did not receive a bid; see the full Oct 21 Naples Auction Results; Also, check out the auction catalog of properties.
• Derivatives Trades Suggest US Housing Slump Poised to Worsen
• Thomas Friedman: The First Law of Petropolitics
• CNBC.com returns (did you even know it was missing?)
• How Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa perfected one of the world’s most exciting new fuel sources.
• Two economists at the American Enterprise Institute set up a nifty Web site to determine the future costs of the Iraq war.
• UK brigadier who lead attack against Taliban: Iraq war cost years of progress in Afghanistan;
• October has been grim in Iraq: 98 U.S. GIs killed in Iraq this month
• Conservative pundit George Will on the Questions to Guide an Iraq Exit Policy
With 10 days to go til the mid-term elections, I decided to break this out from the Military/Media grouping:
• Election Update, part 3 Tradesports some changes: up almost 2 points GOP has a 36.1% chance of retaining control of the House; GOP odds were up nearly 4 points for retaining control of Senate remains at 73.9%.
• Two interesting (free!) articles from the WSJ:
-You can look at Campaign Cash Clues to see where the parties are defending or giving up. Biggest surprise: GOP has stopped investing in Ohio
- Political Polls and Pundits: How Reliable Are Forecasts?
• There is a surprising re-alignment in the midwest: Moderates in Kansas Decide They’re Not in GOP Anymore; WSJ’s John Harwood on Why the Center Matters in This Election
• File this under Bleecchh: We are not even through the mid-terms, and already 2008 is looming large: Mining Midterms for Clues to ’08 Field; Speaking of which: McCain Tries to Trump Republican Woes, Sets Foundation for a Presidential Run in 2008 (disclosure: I supported McCain in 2000);
Technology & Science
• No more funny: YouTube Removes all of Comedy Central Clips Due to DMCA
• New theory on what killed the Dinosaurs: Not meteors, but worms
• Some users are renouncing the social networking sites as just too big in MySpace, ByeSpace?
• Circumventing DRM: Apple’s iPod code ‘cracked’
Music Books Movies TV Fun!
• I haven’t read Bob Woodward’s State of Denial, the 3rd part of his Bush at War trilogy. It seems that every other person on my train is carrying the book.
• No cash = no inspiration = no rocket sauce: Jack Black schools all of you on the truth about piracy (save your emails, its a parody). JB & Kyle also have a new movie out: Tenacious D‘s The Pick of Destiny
• For the math geeks out there: Finite Simple Group (of Order Two) (cute)
• Sometimes, the Onion is more accurate than the MSM: Stock Market Invinciple;
• Via NASA, we can see Von Karman Vortices, Aleutian Clouds, Aerial Whirlpools: Earth as Art!
• The Cohiba Behike is world’s most expensive cigar: priced at more than $450 each (WSJ — if you can’t afford the sub, you can’t afford the cigar!)
• How did I miss this: The Simpsons vs Star Trek mash up
That’s all from my corner of the North Shore of Long Island, where lots of rain and plenty of fallen leaves combine to make driving treacherous — and unlike Ice or Snow, ABS won’t help if you skid on wet leaves. Drive safe!
Yesterday’s increase in New Home Sales caught some economists by surprise. I look at those sorts of numbers suspiciously. Any time I want some insight into any particular datapoint, I find it instructive to go to the actual government source’s website, and simply click around. If you do this with a skeptical eye, you may…Read More
Here’s a nice free feature courtesy of the online WSJ.com: They posted an updated look at more than 120 companies that have come under scrutiny for past stock-option grants. Note: This list contains companies that have disclosed government probes, misdated options, restatements and/or executive departures. Some companies that have undertaken or disclosed internal probes but…Read More