Just as evidence mounts that the U.S. economy is gathering momentum after months of disappointing growth, some signs are emerging that the beleaguered global economy is beginning to perk up as well.
CBS.Marketwatch: Does 3M know something?
3M’s announcement Monday that it would split its shares two for one is a bullish omen for the stock. Perhaps that’s why its shares rose 1.4 percent during Monday’s trading, when the S&P 500 itself was rising just 0.3 percent.
It may not be immediately obvious why a stock split should be bullish, since on first blush it appears to be nothing more than a bookkeeping entry. For every one share of 3M (MMM: news, chart, profile) that you currently own, you will be receiving two “new” shares that are worth precisely half as much.
TheStreet.com: Bond Rout Will Push Fed to Tighten
Low interest rates have shored up the financial system and created a hot housing market over the last two years. But the days of easy money may soon be over, as the Federal Reserve could be forced to quickly correct mistakes it has made in conducting the nation’s monetary policy.
Bond market moves and economic statistics strongly suggest that the Federal Reserve will have to raise short-term interest rates far sooner than many investors and economists believe. A hike in short-term rates could cause a selloff in bonds and stocks and a drop in house prices, but failure to act quickly could create even steeper declines.
“Thirty-one “sell side” analysts at brokerage firms will scramble to their keyboards when Abercrombie & Fitch comes out with earnings Tuesday. Yet Thomson First Call lists only 11 analysts who track General Electric , which, as the biggest company by market cap, has a value roughly 100 times that of Abercrombie . . . Part of the problem rests with investors, particularly hedge funds. As companies get bigger and more stable, investors lose interest and they lose coverage. Investors tend to be attracted to fast-growing companies or those with frequent trading opportunities, such as monthly retail-sales figures. Hedge funds often shy away from the biggest companies because of the perception the stocks move with the market and are impossible to understand financially.”
Newsweek/MSNBC: Is Iraqi Intel Still Being Manipulated?
“The treatment of [Iraqi Scientist] has in turn raised questions about whether even fresh intelligence from Iraq is being manipulated in advance of the report being prepared by David Kay, which is intended as the definitive account of Iraq’s WMD program. One Capitol Hill legislator told NEWSWEEK that the administration’s plan is to put out a vast compilation of data about Saddam’s decades-long effort to build weapons of mass destruction and “hope the issue will go away.” And several Democrats say they are disturbed by what Sen. Dianne Feinstein told NEWSWEEK was the “very vague and nonprecise” nature of Kay’s testimony when he appeared at closed sessions of two congressional committees last week. “Signs of a weapons program are very different than the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that were a certainty before the war,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “We did not go to war to disrupt Saddam’s weapons program, we went to disarm him.” President Bush himself in late July said Kay would require a long time to analyze “literally the miles of documents that we have uncovered.”