The Week that was: The Dow handily upended the prior highs from 2000, finally climbing above 11,750 to an all time high. The Industrials rose 171 points, or 1.5%, to
reach 11,850. The S&P 500 tacked on a 1%, while the Nasdaq rose
1.8%, to 2299. The  Russell 2000 outperformed them all, advancing 2%.

Just what this means has been the subject of a fairly robust debate. I see the internals as suspect, while others see a beuatiful Goldilocks scenario. Hey, someone has to be on the other side of your trade.

On a personal note, I picked a helluva couple of days to be unplugged (scheduled months ago). I leave my desk, and the market screams higher. Well, I’m back in the saddle, and just in time for everyone’s favorite weekend diversion: Linkfest!


Now you know why its called the dismal science: The news is nearly all bad — and yet the market powers higher. Here’s some more fodder for the Wall of Worry:

The Return of Goldilocks?

• Caroline Baum on why the Yield Curve May Yet Upend Stock Market;

• Non farm payrolls continue to stink up the joint; Here’s a few reasons why sticking with the Under has been the money bet: Factors implying a weak jobs number;

• It ain’t just housing: U.S. Manufacturing Expanded Less Than Forecast (still expanding, but slowing);

• The normally cheerful BusinessWeek turns somewhat dour: Is the Economy Headed for a Fall?

Big layoffs in September


• Barron’s technical writer on The Bull Stampedes On ($)

Record-setting profit engines: Expectations for a record setting 13th consecutive Quarter of double digit SPX profits;

• Dow Set a Record in Height, but Weight Had a Lot to Do With That

• An SEC Lawyer explains why we need short sellers in Bring On the Bears

• While many public news organziations are suffering, privately held Bloomberg LP is thriving:  The Bloomberg Lesson;

Price versus Time Weighted Mutual Fund Returns;

Online video running wild

• Private-Sector Anger Builds as Public Pension Costs Rise;

• FORTUNE’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2006

• Lastly, The Beards of Wall Street

Federal Reserve

Lots of debate about what the Fed will do in the coming months:

-The Fed is Right On Target;   

-No, the Fed Will Lower Rates in Q1;

-No, a new Fed President says the Fed will have to tighten;

-No, Data on Growth, Prices will Determine Rate Action;

(You’re on your own with this one!)


• Greenspan Says: ‘Worst’ May Be Past in U.S. Housing; Given the former Fed chair’s past forecasting acumen, this implies that things are about to get much much worse in residential real estate;

• I didn’t get around to last week’s New Home Starts until Monday, but if you believe that they actually ticked upwards, I got a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in purchasing: New Home Starts? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

• The Christian Science Monitor notes that some 500,000 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure: Risky mortgages threaten a squeeze; As is often the case in cutting edge issues, California leads the way with exotic mortgages;

Fascinating survey from RBC Capital (via Barron’s print edition) on U.S. Homeowners; Any similarities in sentiment between home owners and equity investors circa 2000 is strictly coincidental;

 Energy & Commodities

• An interesting look at how Oil prices have risen and fallen: Oil Price Cycles Up, Then Down;

• While the blogosphere has been all atwitter about the sudden drop in gasoline prices for some weeks now (see "Calling All Conspiracy Theorists!", the controversy eventually made its way to the NYT: Change in Goldman Index Played Role in Gasoline Price Drop;

• One blogger makes the conspirator’s argument that its good to have Friends in High Places?; Slate’s Dan Gross  attempts to refute it.

Politics, Media, Military, Elections

• Repubs taking it on the chin on the back of Foley/Page scandal. According to Tradesports, while the Senate remains securely GOP (70.4%), the probabilities of Republicans retaining the House have slipped to 43.7%. (NOTE: this trades 24/7 and is fluctuating as I write this)

• David Wessel says Deficit Progress Will Be Tough to Sustain;

The Taliban back, using Iraq-style violence

• I didn’t know where else to put this one: FBI worries about al-Qaida ties to mob;

• Two on Fox news (fair & balanced):

Why Fox remains No. 1 in cable news

Fox News identifies Foley as a Democrat

Garrison Keillor goes off on the writ of habeas corpus


 Science & Technology

Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards 2006

• I want one!  The Thin Pill

• TechCrunch launches Google/YouTube rumor mashup;  While we know nothing of the alleged Google/You Tube hook up, Bambi Francisco says "Something is up with the 2 companies."

• Speaking of hookups, BestBuy is launching a music service with Real & Sandisk

• Speaking of hookups, part II: More than Half of MySpace Visitors are Now Age 35 or Older

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (from February, 1950)

• PC World picks: The 25 Worst Web Sites

• Lots of astrophysics news this week: Deep in the galaxy, signs of Jupiter-like planets;
Opportunity’s Panoramas of Martian Crater Thrill Scientists (see this also);

Google Gadgets

• Study: Most New Species Arise in Tropics (which makes some intuitive sense)

 Music Film TV Books Fun!

• Deconstructing the Dude:  Why ‘The Big Lebowski’ is a cult classic

• Seriously cool tracks from one of the first major techno-musicians: How Thomas Dolby records music;

Yell Fire! is an interesting mix of Reggae infused with some hip hop by  Michael Franti and Spearhead. The disc is the result of their trip to Baghdad to film a documentary; (I just like the music)

Robert Sutton, a Stanford Professor of Management Science in the Engineering School has a new book out titled The No Asshole Rule. Given the success of Princeton professor Harry Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at this one. I suspect the secret of getting away with this is having a professorship at an esteemed University. Otherwise, the best seller list would be filled with books of rather questionable titles:

– Titties & Beer: The Frank Zappa story

– Fuck Me? Fuck You: Learn to negotiate anything!

– Cocksucker: The untold story of a wayward fluffer

– MotherFucker: Understanding the Oedipal Complex

• Perhaps a better form of flatterly is The Little Book of Value Investing, which is very much along the same lines of last years best seller, The Little Book That Beats the Market

10 seeeeeriously cool workplaces

• Laugh out loud funny: Worst. Bowler. Ever.

• U New Mexico prof sports full face tattoo;

• Ever feel compelled to laugh at a really inappropriate time? Its even worse if you are a talk show host.

And that’s about all from the Northeast, where my Turn-in, Apex and Track-out are rather flawless . . .   

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. V L commented on Oct 8

    “The Bloomberg sales force has a reputation for being staffed with a lot of good-looking women. ”

    Actually, they are not only really good-looking women, but also they are smart, competent and professional. (Real lethal combination; judging from my personal experience)

  2. David Sternfeld commented on Oct 8

    When market sentiment returns to the reality based world where 70% of Americans think we’re on the wrong track, look out below. The herd will stampede off the cliff of unservicable debt and financialized bubblicious asset prices will auger in like the bunker buster it stealthily is. You choose to believe otherwise? You may be buying what the pundits said in the fall of 1929.

  3. ZackAttack commented on Oct 10

    The bowler was Mike Machuga. This happened on a PBA tour telecast last season.

    He had already locked up his first title and decided to do a trick – the flop – for the crowd.

    He’s actually one of the world’s great bowlers. This was just a bit of showmanship.

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