Ouch. A pair of painful days in a holiday shortened week. Way to start the new school year. The biggest surprise was the continuing lack of volume. Anecdotally, I have heard of many fund managers people still on vacation. I supposed the week after Labor Day is the real start of the Fall? When did that happen?

No matter. Once we geth thru a crass orgy of 9/11 commercializations (a comedic novel? A commerative coin?), we will get down to business. Crude was down 4%, Gold was down 2%, all the major US indices were negative.

But its the weekend, and you know what business that means: the festivus linkus!

Investing and Trading

An overview: Bullish, Bearish and Neutral factors to watch;

Top 12 Trading Rules

• Have investors become complacent? (If no WSJ, go here)

• Lets have a bit of a Yin & Yang today:

-On the one hand, there may be a New bull-market surprise ahead or The Bearish Evidence Is Overwhelming   


How Bearish Does the Market Get During a Recession versus Five Ways to Recession-proof your Portfolio;   

• Chart Attack: FTSE, SPX, Copper, Gold

• The 100 fastest growing companies

• Pretty good guide:  How To Start A Hedge Fund

• The Dow’s average performance for each calendar month since 1950 shows the strongest upward bias in stocks has historically occurred during the November-January time frame.

• Have you recently looked at the World Equity Returns?

Australia focused ETFs

6 dividend all-stars

Oil, OPEC & Energy

• OPEC meets Monday, with Oil at 5 month lows. If it drops towards support near $60m, might the cartel curtail output?

Overlooked: While BP execs have been in lots of hot water about issues at the Alaskan oil pipeline, the company spent $98 million buying Greenlight Energy, a large US wind farm firm.

•  I had no idea the US even had an Office of Fossil Energy or an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office; I ususally go to EIA in DOE for government stats and data about energy.

The Macro-Economy

• Markets sold off this week on Labor Wage pressure data from the BLS. Despite my bearish outlook for the rest pf the year, I don’t buy it — Are Labor Costs Really Rising?    

• The Anxious Index    

• The Folly of Forecasting:  You already know my views on this, and now we have wquantitative evidence. Nouriel Roubini points  out 95% of Forecasters Predicted No Recession in 2001 (Too Bad the Recession Had Already Begun). Crossing Wall Street shows just how inaccurate economists GDP forecasts have been.

• A twosome from Carolyn Baum: She notes that Wages Are a Problem — Just Not for Employers; and also observes Yield-Curve Recession Indicator Flashes Yellow   

• The BBC gets melodramtic with The end of the American dream?   

• August had a big uptick in Layoff announcements

Housing/Real Estate

A Closer Look at Housing "Deceleration"; See also the OFHEO report on House Price Appreciation (pdf)

• The good news about the Housing Slowdown is It May Let Fed Stay on Hold; The bad news is the Builders are imploding; What does this say to those who like to buy  cheap P/E cyclical stocks  in front of a slowdown?

•  A survey by the Fed found a Big Surge in ‘Non-Prime’ Mortgages in ’05   

• In Detroit, where many industrial jobs have been lost: Thousands of homes swamp the market.

The Key is a new NYT property/real estate  magazine

• I haven’t seen much evidence of a correlation between the US and Japan’s Housing markets, but I found this Cautionary Housing Tale from Japan interesting nonetheless.   

• Shiller’s Graph on US Home values, 1890-2006 (What the hell happened in 1997?)

Technology, Science, Internet, Fun 

What is Apple’s New Digital Product? The smart money says its a bigger iPod screen/with downloadable movies, or a iPod Phone combo — but I want to see a 60 inch iMac plasma;

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

• Very interesting concept: Shopthisblog (Here’s what mine looks like)

The new Web geniuses:  How slackers with one dopey idea are getting rich;

• What some people have called the best TV ad ever made.

Robotic Frisbees of Death: They are real, and they are hunting for bad guys.

The Best Computer Upgrade Ever 

Coming soon:  Tivo series 3 HD DVR Dual tuner, programmable from your phone!

• Popular Mechanics (?!) Debunks 9/11 Myths   

Real Estate fraud turns violent (Warning: Graphic Video)  Here’s a simple moral: If you are accused of fraud, its probably not the greatest idea to physically attack the reporter on camera.

Music Film TV Books

• 2 CDs getting lots of spins this week — The Fray: How To Save A Life and Sacred by Los Lonely Boys;

• Interesting new book:  This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

• Steve Colbert on the increasing nichefication of pop culture: Crumbelievable;

Who killed the electric car? and on a completely unrelated note: 2007 Ford Mustang GT500:  Hmmmmm, Shelby;

• Since when does Al Franken have a new movie?

iPod competition heats up or less succinctly: Does the MySpace music deal pose a bigger threat to iTunes to the Record Labels?

•  55 Ways to Have Fun With Google — the free downloadable book!• Why do more people choose to end their lives at the Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world? (Disturbingly chilling)

On a personal note, I am already sick of the 9/11 "celebrations."  Can’t we have a more dignified way to honor our dead?

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. royce commented on Sep 10

    Damn Robert Shiller and that stupid history box of his. I’m trying to feel good about the future here. Pretty hard to do when I’m looking at graphs like that.

  2. mike commented on Sep 10

    if you want a real laugh, you’ll spend 10 minutes w/ this one as well, “the purloined minutes of the Plunge Protection Team”: (posted in response to the REAL PPT, or the ‘Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group’ described in post 69617 in the same thread.)

  3. SINGER commented on Sep 10

    whats up with silver???gold???oil???natgas???

    downturn or pre-leg up downward move?

    the 9-11 stuff is over the top and ridiculously commercialized..

    ps read your account of the day on geocities..

    i was in jerusalem at the time..

    One Love to the victims and their families

  4. A.Bukinis commented on Sep 11

    well quite provocaive statement on Sep|11, you are not afraid to be label a bad word, memories are still too fresh and vivid in many poeople , I think it is too early to bravadery on the subject, you can be misnderstood there…

    but on stock market downturn due to the continues vocations of those who is in charge, Icould not agree more with, it is like its fun and play for them, and they not taking us serious , little investors} petty … I should say.

  5. diva commented on Sep 11

    The Robert Shiller chart just shows the power of the change in tax laws re homes – which took effect in 1997. (you know, the one that allows couples to sell/cash out capital gains up to $500,000 on their primary residence every two years TAX FREE – and singles get $250,000)
    sheese…… where else can you make that kind of money TAX FREE!
    I’ve done it once myself, and plan to do it again. No doubt some enterprising folks have done it several times already.

  6. ChrisK commented on Sep 11

    Barry, I respect that you usually offer both sides of an issue. Instead of just pointing to the (imo) superficial Popular Mechanics article, why not also include intelligent rebuttals, e.g.,
    I find it interesting that people on both sides of this issure are so SURE they know the truth. I feel the only thing we know for sure is that the 9/11 Commission failed to do its job and a more thorough inquiry is needed.

  7. L’Emmerdeur commented on Sep 11

    Regarding the 1890-2006 chart, it isn’t what happened in 1997, it’s what happened in 2000, when the RE prices reached the same level of the previous peak (around 1989). And what happened then is the equity crash, with all that cash (plus the cash Greenspan continued to print) flowing from equities into other assets, including bonds and real estate.

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