You feel shame, you know. And then you get free

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 10, 2009 12:10PM

Initial Jobless Claims Rise to 474,000

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims rose to 474,000 for the week ending December 5.  That was an increase of 17,000 from the prior week's unrevised figure of 457,000.  The four week moving average, which smooths out the fluctuations that can occur with the weekly data,…

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With the bad news about debt from Dubai, Greece, and Spain, world equity markets dropped.  The DAX and FTSE were off by one percent.  Asian markets dropped as well.  For the day, the MSCI world index declined for the fifth day in a row.

However, the one bright spot for equities markets…

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 9, 2009 12:49PM

Greece, Dubai, and Spain Show Credit Problems Remain

Today's downgrade of debt from Greece and Dubai as well as a revision of Spain's debt outlook to negative show that while the financial system may have stabilized, problems remain.

Fitch reduced its rating on Greece's debt from A- to BBB+.  Greece's debt is still considered investment grade, howe…

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DECEMBER 8, 2009 9:08AM

ICSC Goldman Chain Store Sales Drop

In a sign that consumers are slowing down the pace of their shopping, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported that chain store sales slipped by 1.3 percent from last week.  The pace of chain store sales is still up by 2.6 percent on a year over year…

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DECEMBER 7, 2009 8:59AM

The Marketplace Minute

As you know, one of the sources of information that we use here in order to provide you with information on what's happening in the financial world is American Public Media's Marketplace.

Marketplace is a great source of information.  Just like the rest of public media, because they are not relia…

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Investors will get a big dose of economic data in the upcoming week.  Perhaps the most closely scrutinized data will be the data on retail sales and initial unemployment claims.

The first big event of the week, however, won't be a release of economic data.  On Monday, Ben Bernanke addresses…

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DECEMBER 5, 2009 10:15AM

Stocks Climb on Good Jobs News

After getting much better than expected news on the labor market, stocks climbed.  However, the initial pop, which saw major indices climb by more than one percent, stocks gave back much of their gains.

The S&P 500 swung between gains and losses 20 times per day according to data compiled by… Read full post »

We have an entire organization, Media Matters, dedicated to pointing out the falsehoods that they find on right wing talk radio.  And we should.  It's absurd, for example, for right wing talk shows to claim that tax cuts increase revenue.  That is nothing but a bald faced lie.  It… Read full post »

DECEMBER 4, 2009 1:10PM

Sick! Just Sick!

This is just sick.

All powdered up and ready to make some sweet turns on!

Like I said, sick.  Just sick.

And maybe I'm crazy, but skiing makes me think of this song.


The Labor Department reported that payrolls in November declined by 11,000.  That is way down from the revised 111,000 jobs lost in October, and is the lowest level of payroll cuts since the beginning of the recession in December 2007.  The unemployment rate also dropped, falling to ten per…

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In a sign that the labor market is improving, the Labor Department reported that initial unemployment claims for the week dropped by 5,000 to 457,000.  Continuing claims increased to 5.47 million, an increase of 28,000.  The four week moving average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, d/…

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DECEMBER 2, 2009 9:45AM

Online Retailers Show Growth

E-commerce sales in the United States rose by 14 percent compared with last year, according to Coremetrics.  Analysts had projected growth of anywhere from five to ten percent, so the actual results were much better than expected.

However, while the growth in online sales is good news, it's impor/…

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Dubai World's announcement that it would seek a "standstill" agreement on all of its debt roiled the markets last week.  A new announcement from the company, however, eased those worries.  The big news was that Dubai World would only be seeking relief on slightly less than half of its debt./…

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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the holiday shopping season is off to a lukewarm start.  While there were more shoppers in stores over the past three days, they spent less money than in the past.

The NRF found that 195 million people visited stores or websites over the Thanksgi… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 29, 2009 12:16AM

Charlie Rose Interviews Warren Buffett

Charlie Rose recently interviewed Warren Buffett on his show.  The wide ranging interview covered topics ranging from
Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...

Image via Wikipedia

Buffett's recent acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the response to the financial crisis, the budget deficit, China's emergence as an economic…

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NOVEMBER 27, 2009 11:25PM

Black Friday: Don't Believe the Hype

By now, you're sick of the financial press talking about Black Friday.  This is, of course, the day after Thanksgiving.  The name of the day supposedly came about because that is the day when retailers go from being in the red to being in the black for the year.

Of course, that's…

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Many investors probably thought that the global financial crisis that the world suffered through during the end of last year and early this year had been solved.  Others warned that there was another shoe to drop.

The Dubai crisis, which analysts at Bank of America said may escalate into a "major…

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NOVEMBER 27, 2009 4:40PM

Cat Adopts Dog

If this story doesn't get you to smile, check to see if you have a pulse.  And if you still have one, then please leave the planet for one where human emotions are not permitted.

A rottweiler was born at an animal shelter, and his mother was too sick to nurseRead full post »

The dining room table wasn't the only table full of things for investors to feast on.  On Wednesday, investors got a feast of economic data.  Data was released on consumer sentiment, initial jobless claims, new home sales, personal income, and durable goods.

Initial unemployment claims for t… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 25, 2009 9:29AM

Tiffany's Earnings Sparkle, Stock Surges

Regular readers will remember that back in early October, we highlighted a report from Citibank which recommended buying shares of Tiffany & Co.  The logic behind that report was that the company was well positioned to take advantage of weakness on the part of its competitors.  It was a…

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NOVEMBER 24, 2009 11:35PM

November Options Expiration Drives Trading

As you know, last Friday was the options expiration date for the month of November.  That means that some positions were closed out or called away, and those positions had to be replaced.

In what is an unusual development, three positions we held were called away.  Our positions in Ford, Myl… Read full post »
This morning, investors got some good news on the economy.  Both GDP in the third quarter showed growth and housing prices continued to show improvement.

The Commerce Department reported that its second analysis of third quarter GDP showed growth of 2.8 percent.  That was down from the initi…

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The National Association of Realtors reported today that existing home sales jumped by 10.1 percent, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.1 million units.  That is 23.5 percent higher than the October 2008 figure of 4.9 million homes, and is the highest number of sales since February of 200…

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NOVEMBER 22, 2009 10:45AM

A Do It Yourself Income Fund

This week's issue of Barron's cover story is titled 10 Terrific Dividend Stocks.  It talks about how the market's recent drop has made it possible for investors to purchase "high quality dividend paying and dividend growing stocks" at a discount.

That got us thinking.  With money market yiel…

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For the third day in a row, major stock indices dropped.  The Dow was off by 0.1 percent to 10,318.  The S&P 500 dropped by 0.3 percent to 1,091.  And the Nasdaq declined by 0.5 percent to 2,146.

For the week, the Dow was up by 0.5 percent.  The S&P 500 broke…

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