Thursday, September 30
A guy just tried to deliver Chinese food here, but I told him he had the wrong address. He was stunned. He didn't expect that the large, hairy, unshaven monster would start chattering away at him in his native tongue.
Posted at 18:20, GMT
Since the "debate" will be on at 2 AM my time, I plan to watch it at C-SPAN.org tomorrow morning. I'll write my impressions here of course. I can't imagine that anyone is undecided about this election, but the "debates" are still important. (If you're wondering why I put "debates" in quotation marks, read this.)
Posted at 18:00, GMT
Early movers this morning. (Obviously MRK is an Early Plunger, er, Mover this morning, but I don't scan NYSE stocks.) This screenshot is posted every weekday morning at around 9:15 ET.
Posted at 14:15, GMT
Speaking of happy shareholders, Autodesk has been doing something right lately.
ADSK, Monthly Chart
Posted at 8:55, GMT
The coil scanner picked up BSC. Bear Stearns is pausing after having broken above its previous all-time high. (Historical note: back in the crunch of 1990 you could have picked up BSC for around $7 a share.) Lots of happy shareholders here.
BSC, 30-min. Chart
Posted at 8:45, GMT
The CRB Index has returned to the highs made earlier this year. Watch for the break above.... did someone say something about inflationary pressures?
CRB Index, Weekly Chart
Posted at 8:35, GMT
Mid-Market Firms Hunt Small Brokerages, by Veronica Belitski
Posted at 8:25, GMT
What the Bubble Got Right, by Paul Graham:
"... Google doesn't have to advertise. In a business like theirs, being the best is enough. The exciting thing about the Internet is that it's shifting everything in that direction. The hard part, if you want to win by making the best stuff, is the beginning. Eventually everyone will learn by word of mouth that you're the best, but how do you survive to that point? And it is in this crucial stage that the Internet has the most effect. First, the Internet lets anyone find you at almost zero cost. Second, it dramatically speeds up the rate at which reputation spreads by word of mouth. Together these mean that in many fields the rule will be: Build it, and they will come. Make something great and put it online. That is a big change from the recipe for winning in the past century."
Read the whole thing, he gets a lot of other things right:
"[Nerds] dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity."
"... when I was at Yahoo, I couldn't help thinking, 'how will this sound to investors?' when I should have been thinking 'is this a good idea?'"
"... the word to describe the atmosphere in the Bay Area would be 'progressive.' People there are trying to build the future."
"After centuries of supposedly job-killing innovations, the number of jobs is within ten percent of the number of people who want them. This can't be a coincidence. There must be some kind of balancing mechanism."
"... even a small increase in the rate at which good ideas win would be a momentous change."
Posted at 8:15, GMT
Why We Cannot Win, by Al Lorentz:
"While at one time there may have actually been support and respect from the locals, months of occupation by our regular military forces have turned the formerly friendly into the recently hostile."
Posted at 8:05, GMT
Fox News beats all rivals, by Pamela McClintock:
"According to Nielsen Media Research, [in Q3 2004] Fox News averaged 1.8 million viewers.... CNN came in a distant second, averaging 882,000 viewers, while MSNBC drew 421,000. Headline News averaged 226,000 in primetime, and CNBC attracted a paltry 133,000."
(When we were in Italy I had a chance to watch some TV and noticed that CNN was attempting to dumb-down their presentation, which I think is the wrong way to go. They shouldn't stoop to Fox's level, they should get more professional instead.)
Posted at 8:00, GMT
Stun guns. Gas masks. Body armor. And more., by John Dorfman:
"[Taser] sells for 91 times earnings, 19 times book value and 23 times revenue. Each of those numbers is in a zone where I seriously consider selling a stock short...."
Posted at 7:55, GMT
Sun Microsystems Tries to Regain Footing on Wall Street, by Marc Ferranti:
"'We have to look at the whole value proposition, though of course price itself is important,' said Steve Rubinow, chief technology officer at Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings Inc., which operates an electronic stock exchange. 'If I can manage an environment of [just] Sun servers and avoid support headaches, running Sun offers an advantage.'"
Posted at 7:45, GMT
Bill Gross writes in his October Investment Outlook that it's time to expose the "con job perpetually foisted on the American public about the low level of inflation."
"Today no less than 46% of the weight of the U.S. CPI comes from products subject to hedonic adjustments. PIMCO calculates that without them, and similarly disinflating substitution biases, Greenspan's favorite inflation measure, the PCE, would be between 0.5% and 1.1% higher each year since 1987. This implies as well that since inflation was higher than actually reported, that conversely, real growth must have been lower by the same amount."
His bottom line:
"... holders of government bonds based upon a benign outlook for inflation... had better cash some of them in, especially at today's 4.0% yield for 10-year Treasuries."
Hmmm, Gross wants you to sell your bonds, but to whom? To him? Or am I just a "conspiracy kook." ;-)
Posted at 7:25, GMT
You can find yesterday's Unusual Suspects on the Unusual Suspects page. I'm going to post a screenshot (like the one below) starting tomorrow. It takes me 5 minutes to type in the data, which is nice if you want to search through it, but posting the .gif takes five seconds, so expediency rules.
Posted at 7:15, GMT
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