It was a rare week: no new records or milestone: The Dow slipped below below 12,000, as it fell a little bit every day. Despite higher-than-expected wage growth, and rising oil prices, the Dow still didn’t give up a full 1%. The Dow ended the week off 104.22, while the S&P 500 declined
13.04 points. The best looking index was the
Nasdaq, which declined less than 20 points over the five sessions.
Just about all of the macro-economic news was bad — the lone exeption being the unemployment rate falling to 4.4% (a 5 year low). While NFP were soft, the revisions were decidely not. Given the ostensibly tight labor pool and rising wages, the Fed is unlikely to lower rates any time soon.
Oil, while still under $60 a barrel, popped over $59 Friday due to Nigerian unrest. Barron’s trader column noted warnings of kidnappings and bombings in oil-producing areas made energy traders a bit skittish.
We are in the home stretch for quarterly earnings, and while the economic data will be light this week, all eyes are on Tuesday’s Mid-term elections.
That’s what ahead; Here’s what’s currnetly worth reviewing: Weekend linkfest!
• Don Hays has been all over this: Global Cash Glut Fuels Investment Boom
• RealMoney is offering students and profs a free subscription through May 31, 2007.
The only requirement: You must have an email address that ends in ".edu." Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start your free subscription.
• Bloomberg magazine gives the nod to the The World’s Top Analysts
• Land Prices Bury Margins for Homebuilders
The Wall of worry continues to build:
• Morgan Stanley’s Great Debate on economic growth outlook
• We haven’t a clue what actual NFP data is . . . hence, the Retiring of the Over/Under Bet
• The Unemployment Rate tends to hit bottom just before Recessions
The Economist looks at the long term structural changes in the US Economy: Slow road ahead
• Bloomberg notes that Profits Rise 23% in U.S., Led by Banks, Insurers;
• What miracle? Productivity slows to a standstill
• An emailer asks: Why are you so obsessed with housing? The answer is found here: Can the economy survive the housing bust?
• I’m not even close to being Wall Street’s most Bearish economic pundit; that’s a battle between David Rosenberg and Nouriel Roubini
• An interesting discussion between two academic economists on an area of economics known as "political business" cycles: How Much Do Election Shakeups Affect the Nation’s Economy?
• The American Enterprise Institute looks at the U.S. economy, which
has slowed to a level below trend growth rate in 2H ’06, and asks is the process is self-correcting or self-reinforcing?
• Japan’s Household Spending Drops for Ninth Month
• Survey sez: Manufacturers’ optimism on economy wanes
• A Bloomberg video twofer:
• Confessions of a Data Dependent: The speech by (8th inning) Fisher on relying on faulty data was an eye opener; Another must-read was the Journal’s Bad Data Helped
Fuel Rate Cuts, Housing Speculation (free)
• Fed’s Lacker: Economy `Resilient’ to Higher Rates
• The National Association of Realtors decided they need to drop $40 million to tell you It’s a great time to buy or sell a home! The interesting about the advert: EVERY SINGLE STATEMENT IN IN IS MATERIALLY FALSE OR MISLEADING
• Hard to argue with this headline: The New Word in Home Sales: ‘Canceled’
• The NAR’s Chief Economist was forced to change the cover of his book; Scroll down to item #4 to see these future changes to the book’s cover (hysterical!)
• Homeowners an optimistic bunch: Despite news of the housing market slipping, just 6% of homeowners surveyed said they believe their own home’s value will decline over the next 12 months.
• Whah? Floyd Norris says changes in Consumer Confidence point to a GOP loss in 2008
• Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation
• Some interesting sentiment data via Lew Rockwell
• CNBC’s Kudlow & Company just recorded their biggest year-to-year growth (134%) in the key 25-54 demographic
With 4 days to go til the mid-term elections, there lots of political
ground to cover (then we can put this category away for a while):
• Election Update, final part Tradesports some changes. Freefall: GOP has a less than 21% chance of retaining control of the House; Odds for retention of Senate were down nearly 4 points: Senate at 70% even.
• The Economy?
-Bush Gains Ground on Economy, But Iraq Still Tops Voters’ Agenda
• Bushenfreude—the phenomenon
whereby high-income beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts use their windfalls to
fund Democratic candidates—is still raging
• Candidates Are Ignoring $1.35 Trillion Alt. Minimum Tax ‘Time Bomb’
• Bechtel wraps up Iraq projects; their role in reconstruction is "over."
• File this under WTF: US stops audit of Iraq rebuilding;
• What to do with Tehran: The Case for Engagement in Iran
• Wild commercial from The World Wildlife Foundation
• Carter Says North Korea was in Nuclear Compliance until "Axis of Evil" SOTU comments
Technology & Science
• Powers of Ten: here’s what adding a zero does
• Jeff Matthews asks "Guess what company just reported a decline in internet revenues last quarter?" Give up? highlight the following word Microsoft !;
• Defective-by-Design looks at all the gadgets and toys at Amazon that have restrictive DRM . . .
• God gets away with murder, not to mention a cushy, tax-free existence. So says Richard Dawkins in a Bloomberg discussion
• What are Web’s societal, scientific consequences? The academics weigh in
Music Books Movies TV Fun!
• One of my quant buddies recommends Evidence-Based Technical Analysis: Applying the Scientific Method and Statistical Inference to Trading Signals
• Diebold gets into a pissing match with HBO and demands the cancellation of a documentary on their voting machines; Film saying they can be manipulated ‘inaccurate’
• Michael Lewis on Going beyond ‘Moneyball’
• Nothing like having the WSJ announce you are a horndog
• Forget clay pigeons, we want to shoot up bigger things!
• I like to drive fast, but I keep excessive speeds confined to the track. Not this guy (start at the 3 minute mark) Note the speedo on the Bike is in kmh, not miles, so 297km/h is roughly equivalent to 185 mph.
• Beware blind Lip Gloss tests
• A Guy witnesses an accident . . . too funny!
That’s all from my corner of the North Shore of Long Island, where I am off to a few days of hot laps in Sebring Florida.