Uh-Oh: That was a helluva week
Barron’s Trader column called it a "push-me-pull-me week as conflicting economic data made for choppy trading, and shares finished on a sour note Friday despite a late rally." Most of the economic data we saw this week was consistent with a economic slowdown, and a possible recession — neither of which tend to be ideal for equities. The Industrials slipped about ~1%, closing at 12,194.13. The S&P 500 lost even less — 0.3%, ending at 1396.71. Of the major indices, Nasdaq took the biggest hit, down 2% to close at 2413.21. (This was the first week we put on shorts since the rally began).
But as Cramer says, there’s always a Bull Market somewhere — and this week it was in fixed income. Bonds rallied, driving yields back down. The 10 Year was trading at a low low price of 4.45% yield.
Where to begin this week? The Dollar? Retail Sales? Yields? Housing? The 1st 1% down day in 6 months? No matter — we got it all covered:
INVESTING & TRADING
• The Dollar Tumbles to 20-Month Low Against Euro, concerning investors this week. The argument is made that the Dollar Downdraft will Resume ; There’s a broad discussion of what the Dollar drop means at RGE; Meanwhile, Volatile Dollar May Not Be Scary to Washington; Meanwhile, Hank Paulson may face Disappointment in China
• Dollar, shmollar: The utility average just hit new high
• What a joke: The report of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulations came out this week — claiming "Wall Street is losing its edge because of over-regulation." Nonsense, says the analysts at Breakingviews.com. They called the recommendations a “sop” to the industry, noting most of these recs would roll back investor protections, and eliminate the SEC’s watchdog role.
And months ago, Slate observed that IPO fees in the US are more than double those in London — something strangely omitted from the Committee’s report. (what hacks)
• What’s been driving the rally? According to Dresdner Kleinwort’s James Montier,its been the “Fully Invested Bears and rampant complacency"
• Excellent list — 10 Common Trading Errors
• What does the merger of NYSE and NASD regulatory agencies mean to investors? Its a Nice Deal for Wall Street, but a Bummer on Main Street
• A Street.com Video two-fer:
-Beware of The Bear Hugh Moore, portfolio manager for Guerite Advisors, tells Gregg Greenberg why his firm’s stock market indicator is flashing the "Sell" signal.
–Long-Term Investing In A Short-Term World Michael Mauboussin, chief investment strategist for Legg Mason Capital Management, talks about the value of long-term investing.
• I hate these forecasts: Harry Schultz sees $1,500 for yellow metal
• Screw you guys, Rick!: Kerkorian takes his chips and goes home
• Dilbert on Restating Earnings
The Wall of worry continues to build:
• PMI, ISM, GDP: Seems like a soft landing is looking ever less likely: Buh-Bye Goldilocks
• The Recession of 2007?
• Bill Gross asks: Has the leverage potency of recent years reached a peak? Reality Check
A lot of retail data came out this week, and was a bit disappointing.
• In an interesting twist, some stores blamed the warm weather — a welcome change from most years, when they blame ot on the snow: Blaming Soft Retail on all the Wrong Things
• Amazon is making a major push into Gift Certificates this year;
• Blogger’s Take: Holiday Retail Sales
• Lastly, see these trio:
–Shoppers slow pace after early frenzy
–Not as many Black Friday shoppers, but spending is up
Retail sales mixed at start of US holiday season; Car sales forecast to fall in 2007 to lowest since 1998
• Existing Home Sales & Prices came out this week, and it was record setting ugly
• The WSJ on Distressed Real-Estate: Priced to Sell in 2007 (free)
• This week’s data showed Fewer New-Home Sales, But Median Price Rises (by now, we all know the pricing data is a fantasy)
• Gary Shilling gets all Medieval on Housing
Lots of Fed speak this week, and commentary also:
• Caroline Baum: The Fed Cries Wolf (Mr. Market Isn’t Listening)
• An email from Bernanke (funny!)
• Interesting tracking of the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s Political Meetings
• Fed’s Kohn says Economy hard to figure out at present
• Fed’s big worry gets revised away
• Why We Worry About The Things We Shouldn’t . . . And Ignore The Things We Should
• General Abizaid’s presentation (video)
• The 117? File this under WTF! Stealth plane set for mothballing by Air Force
• WSJ: Majority of Americans Believe Iraq Is in ‘Civil War’ (free)
• Who is worse for Free Trade, Dems or GOP? Answer: Both of them
• The International Herald Tribune is the latest MSM to start blogging
• Nicholas D. Kristof, displaying the crusading spirit of journalism at its finest, is Media Web’s Print Journalist of the Year
• Why we are overweight in OIL!
• How Much Is Your Car Worth? Acura, Honda Pass BMW in Resale Value
Technology & Science
• Beatles go digital: only on iPod? (About time!)
• I like a good quantum paradox as much as the next guy — but retrocausality? Makes the head spin: sending photons back in time
(yes, that was a bad quantum physics pun)
Music Books Movies TV Fun!
• If you are like me, you are just about sick death of the sacchrine holiday music in too many stores and radio stations. My solution? Favorite Holiday CDs
• My wish list Box Set: Sinatra in Vegas, baby!
• The NYT’s 10 Best Books of 2006
• On the Edge of Blade Runner (or, was Deckard a replicant?)
It is a little known fact that Britney Spears is an expert in semiconductor
physics. Not content with just singing and acting, she
will guide you in the fundamentals of the vital laser components that have made
it possible to hear her super music in a digital format.
• Seinfeld, the lost episode: National Lampoon absolutely trashes Kramer via clips of Seinfeld. Its the most clever response I’ve seen yet to Michael Richards’ tirade.
That’s all from what may very well be the last temperate weekend in the NorthEast, where snow is expected this coming week. Safe Shopping!