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

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 10:40PM

Stocks Surge on Merger News

Stocks broke a three day losing streak on gains fueled by merger announcements by Xerox and Abbott Laboratories today. The rally allowed stocks to recoup much of the losses they incurred last month. The Dow surged by 1.3 percent to 9,789; the S&P 500 roseRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 12:22PM

Monday Morning Trading

You've heard about Monday morning quarterbacking. Certainly there are NFL coaches who will be facing questions about their calls yesterday, and there are some who might actually get fired over them.

But we'll allow Redskins fans to question the calls of their coach and we'll just… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 27, 2009 4:12PM

Are NFL Stadium Naming Rights Worth It?

With the NFL season underway, one question that investors may want to ask themselves is what good does plastering your company’s name on the stadium do? Obviously, there is a tremendous value associated with having your company’s name associated with a winning team. But is… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 9:35AM

September's Stock Slump Yet to Arrive

As investors have no doubt heard, September is historically the worst month for stocks. In fact, it is the only month where historic returns for the S&P 500 are negative. And last September was certainly a bad one, with the implosion of Lehman Brothers and the government takeover of…

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Markets today declined the most since July as a drop in durable goods orders and a lower than expected increase in housing starts overcame any positive momentum created by a better than expected consumer sentiment survey.

The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment surged to 73.5 in Sep… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 10:12AM

Durable Goods Orders Drop Unexpectedly

Today's release of durable goods orders from the Department of Commerce showed a drop in durable goods orders of $4 billion, or 2.4 percent. Durable goods are products that are designed to last for several years. Orders for these came in at $164.4 billion. The drop in durable…

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 12:35AM

Existing Home Sales Drop Shows Weakness of Recovery

Today's data on initial unemployment claims showed that the economy is recovering. Later, we got data that shows how that recovery is likely to be weak. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released data on existing home sales which showed a drop of 2.7 percentRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 10:14AM

Initial Jobless Claims Drop by 21,000

This morning, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims dropped by 21,000 to 530,000 in the latest week, down from an adjusted figure of 551,000. The previously reported number of claims for the prior week was 545,000, and the consensus estimate was for an increase… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 12:17AM

Go for the Boobs, Get a Flu Shot

There is a strip club in Florida (where else) that is offering seniors a chance to come in for free and get a flu shot in the VIP room. And they get a free buffet, too.

Well, I always knew there was something being stuck into bodies in VIP rooms. … Read full post »

Yes, you read that right. Stocks dropped after the Fed announced that it was maintaining interest rates at their current record low levels. Nobody expected the Fed to move rates, so what investors were looking at was the statement released by the Fed today.… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 6:12PM

Let's Hear it for Religion

As if the pregnancy of Bristol Palin  wasn't enough to show that religious zealots pushing abstinence only education don't know what the hell they are talking about, along comes a study that shows high levels of conservative religious beliefs are correlated with high teenage pregnancy levels.

Th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 12:23PM

PG&E Quits Chamber of Commerce over Climate Change

In a sign of the tensions that climate change is creating in the business community, Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility arm of PG&E, announced that it was leaving the Chamber of Commerce. In a letter announcing the split, PG&E's CEO said "we find it dismayingRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 10:34AM

Fed Begins Rate Setting Meeting Today

Today, the Federal Reserve begins its two day meeting where it will ponder interest rates. It generally doesn't release information on the first day of the meeting. Nor is the Fed likely to raise interest rates. So, investors will anxiously be awaiting the Fed's… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 5:59PM

Net Neturality Rules Proposed by FCC

Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced it will propose rules that would require internet service providers to ensure "all web traffic is treated equally." During a speech given at the Brookings Institute, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that two principals will guide the FCC… Read full post »

Last Friday was the third Friday of the month of September. As you know, options expiration date is the third Friday of the month. That means that the covered calls executed last month expired or were called away.

Regular readers of this blog are well… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 20, 2009 11:20AM

Your Next Fillup May Come from Your Garbage

That is the hope of a San Diego based company. Green House International is developing a network of ethanol filling stations that are literally in people's back yards. Their product, called the MicroFueler (why do so many companies insist on combining two words into one and capitalizing the second…

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 10:23AM

Should Investors Consider Solar ETFs?

There are a number of reasons to consider investing in alternative energy. First, while oil prices are down from the $150 a barrel we saw last year, they are still high in historic terms. That makes alternative energy a more attractive proposition. Second, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil…

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 12:58AM

Chargers Undisputed Champions

Of political donations, anyway.

You can watch the video from the Rachel Maddow show here.  For some reason, MSNBC videos do not embed here.

But in any case, if you don't feel like watching the video, the Chargers organization has donated $2.4 million to politicians since 1990, virtually all of iRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 12:44AM

Home Prices May Need a Decade to Recover

That is the conclusion of a report by Moody's Investor Service. The report said that those expecting a strong rebound in housing prices are going to be very disappointed. "It will take more than a decade to completely recover from the 40% peak-to-trough decline inRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 9:49AM

Quadruple Witching Day Likely to Cause Choppy Trading

Today is the options expiration date for the month of September. Traders expect a choppy session with that happening. Yesterday, stocks slipped, but the major indices are still showing gains for the week and so far, the September swoon that many had expected has not arrived.

Options expiration…

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 12:52AM

Why Is Anyone Building Houses?

That is the question asked by Marketplace today. As you know, there are millions of houses on the market. Many houses remain unsold, and demand for houses is so low that some builders have left partially completed subdivisions unfinished. And foreclosures continue to increase,… Read full post »

Put this in the you cannot make this up category.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a Texas republican congressional rep wrote a letter to the taxpayer funded Washington Metro Area Transit Authority.

What was Kevin Brady complaining about?

The taxpayer funded agency's problems with carrying indiv… Read full post »

Today brought us the release of unemployment claims, the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index, and housing starts. And, in another sign that the economy is turning around, all of those figures were positive.

Initial unemployment claims were down to 545,000, lower than the consensus estimate ofRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 12:48AM

Americans Plan to Limit Household Spending

Despite continuing signs that the economy is improving, Americans plan to limit their household spending, a recent survey by Bloomberg found. Only eight percent of the people surveyed said they plan to increase spending, with 58 percent saying they'd keep spending at the same level. The remainder sai… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009 10:08AM

August CPI Data Shows Inflation In Check

The Labor Department's latest consumer price index data showed that prices increased by 0.4 percent in August. This was higher than the consensus estimate of 0.3 percent, but analysts saw it as additional evidence that inflation is a current threat to the economy. Underscoring that… Read full post »