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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:22 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Thursday 2 February
Thursday February 2, 2006

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 1082 DAYS
DAYS SINCE DEMOCRACY DIED (12/12/00) 1869 DAYS
WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 1569 DAYS
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 1530
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 19
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 3
Other Arrests of Execs = 54


U.S. FUTURES & MARKETS INDICATORS
NASDAQ FUTURES-----------------------------S&P FUTURES




AT THE CLOSING BELL WHEN BUSH TOOK OFFICE on January 22, 2001
Dow - 10,578.24
Nasdaq - 2,757.91
S&P 500 - 1,342.90
Oil - $27.69/bbl
Gold - $266.70/oz.


AT THE CLOSING BELL ON February 1, 2006

Dow... 10,953.95 +89.09 (+0.82%)
Nasdaq... 2,310.56 +4.74 (+0.21%)
S&P 500... 1,282.46 +2.38 (+0.19%)
30-Year Bond 4.71% +0.03 (+0.53%)
10-Yr Bond... 4.56% +0.03 (+0.75%)
Gold future... 574.00 -1.50 (-0.26%)






GOLD, EURO, YEN, Dollars and Loonie


PIEHOLE ALERT

Heads Up!
Preliminary info on appearances by Bush & Co. throughout the country. Details & links are added as they become available so check back. And if you know more, are organizing something, or would like to, contact actionpost@legitgov.org

For information on protests and other actions Citizens For Legitimate Government






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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. Tokyo opened strongly
Nikkei gains as exporters rise on earnings, yen
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average opened up 0.93 percent on Thursday as investors bought shares in exporters such as Canon Inc. (7751.T: Quote, Profile, Research) on strong earnings results and after the yen fell to its lowest against the dollar this year. The Nikkei <.N225> was up 0.80 percent at 16,611.53 as of 0005 GMT. The broader TOPIX <.TOPX> was up 1.16 percent at 1,713.88.

Tokyo stocks open higher after rises on Wall St., yen's fall
(Kyodo) _ Stocks opened sharply higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday following overnight gains on Wall Street and the yen's fall against the U.S. dollar. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average surged 227.02 points, or 1.38 percent, to 16,707.11. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues was up 23.44 points, or 1.38 percent, to 1,717.68. The Second Section also rose. All sectors gained with the exception of glass issues.

Tokyo stocks expected to rise, Toyota may gain
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks are expected to rise on Thursday, as strong earnings results boost investor sentiment and as the yen's fall to its lowest against the dollar so far this year lifts exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research). Investors will be keeping a close eye on quarterly earnings. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research), the maker of Panasonic goods, and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research) are among firms due to report earnings later in the day.

Strong earnings results so far have helped boost investor confidence, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities. "Overall, Japanese companies are continuing to post good earnings. I think that is very likely to push investors toward buying," he said. "The fact that the yen is trading at around 118 to the dollar will also be a boost."

Toyota, a major exporter, may also be in focus after the Nihon Keizai business daily said on Thursday that the world's top auto maker will start a joint research and development venture with its partner, China FAW Group Corp, aiming to produce local models to suit Chinese consumers.

Traders expect the Nikkei share average <.N225> to move between 16,500 and 16,700 on Thursday.


Foreign brokers place net buy Japan stock orders
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Orders for Japanese stocks placed through 12 foreign securities houses before the start of trading on Thursday showed an intention to buy a net 6.6 million shares, market sources said. There were buy orders for 72.2 million shares and sell orders for 65.6 million shares, the sources said.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Toyota to set up China R&D venture with FAW
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to set up a research and development joint venture with China's FAW Group to produce models for the Chinese market, the Nihon Keizai business daily reported on Thursday.

The paper said Toyota and FAW, each the top carmaker in their home markets, will establish a 50-50 venture with several hundred employees by the end of this year. It would be Toyota's eighth overseas R&D unit, the paper added. Toyota officials were not immediately available for comment. Car sales in China jumped 21 percent last year to nearly 4 million units, bouncing back from a relatively lacklustre rise of 15 percent in 2004 thanks to demand for cheaper models with lower emissions.

In December, Toyota forecast that it would increase output by 10 percent in 2006 to a record 9.06 million vehicles, a level that could see the Japanese company overtake General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) as the world's top car maker. It said at that time that its sales in China were likely to jump about 60 percent to around 280,000-290,000 units in 2006.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Nikkei225 closed up 1.4% to 16,710.55
Nikkei rises on earnings, Konica Minolta jumps
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average rose 1.40 percent to close above 16,700 for the first time in more than five years on Thursday as investors bought firms with strong earnings such as Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. (4902.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Denso Corp. (6902.T: Quote, Profile, Research). Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 1.2 percent to 2,515 yen ahead of its earnings announcement later on Thursday, while paper companies gained after Oji Paper Co. Ltd. (3861.T: Quote, Profile, Research) raised its product prices.

The Nikkei <.N225> gained 230.46 points at 16,710.55, the highest closing level since September 2000. The broader TOPIX <.TOPX> was up 0.99 percent at 1,711.02.


Japanese Stocks Rise to Five-Year High
Japanese stocks rose to a five-year high Thursday, bouncing back from the previous day's losses, following Wall Street's robust session overnight and a drop in oil prices. The U.S. dollar rose against the yen and the euro. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 230.46 points, or 1.40 percent, to finish at 16,710.55 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. That's the highest since Sept. 1, 2000. On Wednesday, the index lost about 1 percent.

Electronics and auto stocks made moderate gains on the back of the dollar's strength against the yen. Brokerages and paper and pulp stocks also advanced, as did real estate issues. Among gainers were Sony Corp., which rose 4.49 percent to 5,820 yen ($49.32), and Casio Computer Co. was up 1.73 percent to 2,060 yen ($17.46). Automaker Mazda Motor Corp. gained 2.23 percent to 550 yen ($4.66) and Tokyo Electron Ltd. picked up 1.94 percent to 8,930 yen ($75.68). Major brokerages Daiwa Securities Group Inc. posted a 3.24 percent gain to 1,400 yen ($11.86). Oji Paper Co. surged 5.89 percent to 701 yen ($5.94) and the country's top real estate developer Nomura Estate Co. saw a 4.55 percent gain to 2,760 yen ($23.39). Konica Minolta Holdings, which reported earlier good earnings results, jumped 11.00 percent to end the day at 1,472 ($12.47), making it one of the top ten gainers on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

"The currency, and lower oil, are important external factors that are helping psychologically and meshing with internal factors like earnings," said Masanori Hoshina, head of Global Portfolio Marketing and Trading at BNP Paribas.
/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Japanese government bond auction overshadowed by shares
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The 10-year Japanese government bond yield hovered at a seven-week high on Thursday as the Nikkei share average rose to its highest point in five years, but solid auction results helped bonds trim some of their earlier losses.

Japan's Ministry of Finance offered 1.9 trillion yen ($16 billion) of 10-year JGBs with a 1.6 percent coupon, the highest since September 2004. "There was some caution about demand in the secondary market but once follow-through buying by investors was confirmed, the market rebounded slightly," said Hiroyuki Kubota, chief JGB analyst at Fisco. "But once such buying subsided, investors turned their focus back to the steady rise in shares, limiting JGB gains," he said. March futures ended the day down 0.20 point at 136.72 <0#2JGB:> after slipping as low as 136.52. Futures rose to a high of 136.80 after the auction result was announced.

The yield on most recent 10-year cash JGB <0#JPTSY=JBTC> rose one basis point to 1.555 percent, easing from the day's high of 1.580 percent, its highest since mid-December. The five-year yield rose 2.5 points to 0.920 percent, off a near three-month high of 0.935 percent hit early in the day. Super-long bonds were the only gainers across the curve, with the 30-year yield falling half a basis point to 2.360 percent.

"Domestic and foreign investors, probably pension funds and other long-term holders, were buying the maturity, betting on a curve flattening," said a trader at a foreign securities firm.
/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Conditions not met for policy shift-BOJ's Muto
MATSUYAMA, Japan, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Toshiro Muto, considered one of the central bank's more dovish members, said on Thursday it was still too early to scrap the bank's super-loose policy despite recent rises in consumer prices. While reiterating that the chances the BOJ will ditch the five-year-old policy will increase next fiscal year, Muto said the central bank will need a new policy roadmap after ending so-called "quantitative easing" to enhance the transparency of its monetary policy.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. European stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 2
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European shares were set to open firmer on Thursday, supported by gains in Japan and on Wall Street as investors digest a swathe of earnings reports, while the dollar rose to a seven-week high against the yen.

Oil prices were trading back around $67 a barrel after a volatile session on Wednesday as sentiment swung after a surprise build in U.S. inventories and concerns about rising tension regarding Iran's nuclear programme.

Analysts are studying results from Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and sales from watchmaker Swatch (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and awaiting numbers from oil firm Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and drug maker AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research), among others.

Markets are awaiting a decision on interest rates from the European Central Bank and while no change is expected, the bank's wording may provide some clues on when the next hike could be.
...
* Spread betters in London are calling the FTSE 100 <.FTSE>, CAC 40 <.FCHI>, and DAX <.GDAXI> indexes between 14 and 30 points higher.


/more MARKETS, COMPANIES...

European bourses poised for higher open
European equities were poised for gains on Thursday following strong sessions in the US and Asia, while fourth-quarter numbers from Deutsche Bank and Royal Dutch Shell provided no nasty shocks... Royal Dutch Shell, the oil major, reported fourth-quarter earnings that came in line with market forecasts. A 3 per cent rise in net profit at the current cost of supply (CCS) to $5.395bn beat expectations of $5.385bn. Full-year CCS net profit was $22.94bn a record for a London-listed company. Deutsche Banks full-year pre-tax profit beat expectations thanks to strong growth in trading revenues. Alcatel, the French mobile phone equipment maker, announced a forecast-beating 16 per cent rise in fourth-quarter operating profit and provided an optimistic outlook on first-quarter sales and 2006 growth. The company said it would propose a dividend for 2005 of 0.16, its first payout since 2001.

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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. European markets opened hesitantly, then Shell-struck
Swiss SMI up 0.30% at CHF 7859.71 09:03:03 CET
Xetra Dax 30 opens 0.6 per cent higher at 5,757.0 in Frankfurt 08:19 GMT
CAC 40 opens flat at 5,000.97 in Paris 08:13 GMT
FTSE 100 opens flat at 5,801.40 in London 08:09 GMT

(Shell loses ground in opening trade as investors concentrate on lower reserve replacement ratios rather than record profits in FY numbers)

European stocks set new 4-1/2-yr highs, Alcatel up
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European shares struck new 4-1/2-year highs on Thursday after upbeat results from Alcatel (CGEP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), and boosted by gains in Japanese and U.S. markets, but Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 1.6 percent. Miners rose as copper prices raced to record highs and other metals also gained, with BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) up 1.7 percent and Rio Tinto up 1.2 percent. Shares in Alcatel jumped 6.4 percent after the telecoms operator beat quarterly operating profit forecasts.

By 0820 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst index <.FTEU3> of 300 leading shares was 0.2 percent stronger at 1,336.1 points, its strongest level since early August 2001, and building on a recent string of multi-year highs. The index is up about 5 percent so far this year, supported by encouraging quarterly earnings reports, and after a nearly 23 percent rally in the index in 2005. "Valuations are still attractive relative to bonds and cash. Corporate earnings growth is fairly good and you also have the underpinning of the M&A activity," said Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management.
...
Across Europe, Frankfurt's 30-share DAX index <.GDAXI> advanced 0.5 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> rose 0.1 percent and Paris's CAC-40 <.FCHI> gained 0.2 percent.
/more...

European bourses higher as results impress
European equities rose on Thursday following strong sessions in the US and Asia, while fourth-quarter numbers from Deutsche Bank and Alcatel provided no nasty shocks. In early trade, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.2 per cent to 1,336.45, while Frankfurts Xetra Dax added 0.5 per cent to 5,754.6. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.2 per cent to 5,008.18 and Londons FTSE 100 climbed 0.1 per cent to 5,808.8.
...
Royal Dutch Shell, the oil major, reported record full-year earnings thanks to high oil prices, but sentiment in the stock was dented as the numbers revealed falling reserve replacement. A 3 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit at the current cost of supply (CCS) to $5.395bn beat expectations of $5.385bn, while full-year CCS net profit was $22.94bn a record for a London-listed company. Shares however, fell 1.8 per cent to 27.62 amid general weakness for oil stocks after an overnight fall in crude prices. Norways Statoil fell 1.4 per cent to NKr182, while OMV of Austria shed 1.3 per cent to 59.
...
Alcatel, the French mobile phone equipment maker, gained 5.7 per cent to 11.85 after announcing a forecast-beating 16 per cent rise in fourth-quarter operating profit and provided an optimistic outlook on first-quarter sales and 2006 growth. The company said it would propose a dividend for 2005 of 0.16, its first payout since 2001. Richard Windsor, strategist at Nomura, said: This was a solid set of results which paves the way for Alcatel to show solid growth in 2006. We re-iterate our buy recommendation.
/more...

Miners help FTSE rise but Shell limits market gains
LONDON,, Feb 2 (Reuters) - UK stocks opened higher on Thursday as upbeat results from Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) lifted the mining sector and as a slew of broker upgrades for stocks including building materials supplier Wolseley (WOS.L: Quote, Profile, Research), news and information provider Reuters (RTR.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and cruise operator Carnival (CCL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) also inspired buying.

But oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) took away some of the market's shine, falling 2 percent despite revealing a rise in profits on the back of higher oil prices and strong refining margins. "I think disappointment will be the first investor reaction," said Jaap Barendregt at FBS Bankiers. "We could have expected somewhat more given the surprise we saw with Exxon."
/more...

London stocks advance on bid talk
London equities continued their advance on Thursday, as Hilton made strrong gains after reportedly rejecting a 3.7bn bid for its Ladbrokes unit. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell lost ground amid concern about its ability to replace oil reserves as it reported record annual profits. The FTSE 100 ticked 0.1 per cent higher to 5,807.0 and the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose by the same margin to 9,283.3.
...
Royal Dutch Shells A shares fell 2 per cent to 19.66 as investors anticipated that the oil giant would need to spend increasing amounts of its record profits on finding and developing new sources of crude. Although the Anglo-Dutch refiner reported a 37 per rise in profits of 25.3bn, it also said only between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the oil exploited in the period was replaced with fresh supplies. It reiterated its target for 100 per cent reserve replacement between 2004 and 2008, and said increased capital expenditure amounting to $15.1bn already reflected higher exploration costs of $2.1bn.

The leading gainer as the overall market made progress was Hilton Group, with a 3.5 per cent rise taking its shares to 379.3p after a report in the Financial Times said it rejected a 3.7bn offer for its Ladbrokes betting arm, saying it was too low. Rio Tinto helped the wider mining sector to renewed firm gains after reporting annual underlying earnings of $4.995bn, an increase of 118 per cent. The mining giant upped its total dividend by 4 per cent to $0.80. Its shares traded 1.3 per cent higher at 29.53. BHP Billiton made gains of 1 per cent to 10.59 and Vedanta was 1.2 per cent higher at 10.03 /more...

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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Shell posts biggest ever UK company profit
LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell posted a record profit for a UK-listed company on Thursday, helped by high oil prices and strong refining margins. The company reported a 3 percent rise in fourth-quarter current cost of supply (CCS) net profit to $5.395 billion (3.04 billion pounds), in line with forecasts. Excluding a net gain of $34 million related to exceptional items, the result was in line with a Reuters poll of 10 analysts which gave an average forecast of $5.385 billion, and up around 13 percent from the post-exceptionals result last year.

Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said production fell to 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the quarter from 3.84 million boepd in the same period of 2004.

Full-year CCS net profit for 2005 was $22.94 billion, a record for a UK-listed company, analysts said. The world's third-biggest listed oil firm by market value said it expected to return $5 billion to shareholders by repurchasing stock in 2006, in line with last year's share repurchases.

Shell said its reserve-replacement ratio -- the rate at which it matches the oil it pumps with new finds -- was 70 to 80 percent, including mineable reserves from Athabasca Oil Sands and year-end pricing impact and acquisitions and divestments. Companies target a rate of at least 100 percent to avoid depletion of their asset base and the suggestion their business is eroding. Shell is under pressure from investors for its poor reserve-replacement rate after achieving a ratio less than 50 percent in 2004. Analysts believe this shows Shell will struggle to grow its upstream oil and gas production business in coming years.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. European stocks slip as Shell leads oils lower
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European shares eased from 4-1/2-year highs struck earlier on Thursday, dragged by losses in oil firms such as Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research), and as U.S. stock futures indicated a weaker start on Wall Street. Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) shares lost 1.5 percent as some traders said its dividend announcement was disappointing while a slip in trading revenue also hit sentiment, despite the bank's 2005 pretax profit matching consensus market estimates.

By 1040 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst index <.FTEU3> of 300 leading shares was 0.2 percent weaker at 1,330.8 points, off an earlier high of 1,337.0, its strongest since August 2001. "This is just a small decline and only natural after the strong run we have had. Most results are in line, but nothing spectacular," said one trader.
...
Shell fell 1.6 percent as its fourth-quarter results appeared to be less robust than traders expected and after larger rival Exxon (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reported stronger-than-expected results. Shell's buyback also disappointed some investors.

Both BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) eased 0.9 percent.
...
Markets are awaiting a decision on interest rates from the European Central Bank at 1245 GMT and while no change is expected, the bank's wording may provide some clues on when the next hike could be.
/more,,,
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. Shell's "poor performance with the drill bit"
...
"Shell has had another poor performance with the drill bit," said Peter Hitchens, an oil analyst at Teather & Greenwood.
...
Shell replaced just 60 to 70 percent of the oil it pumped with new additions to reserves, measured under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, a Shell spokesman said. This is well below the 100 percent rate needed to stop an oil firm's asset base from shrinking.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. SolarWorld buys Shell's solar business, shares soar
FRANKFURT, Feb 2 (Reuters) - SolarWorld has bought Shell Group's crystalline solar operations for an undisclosed sum, the German solar energy firm said on Thursday, making it the biggest player in the U.S. solar market. Shares of SolarWorld, which have risen about 430 percent over the past 12 months, hit a fresh high of 218 euros, up 17 percent at 0913 GMT.
...
SolarWorld said in a statement it would take over Shell locations in Vancouver, Washington and Camarillo, California, that manufacture solar silicon crystals, wafers, cells and modules. Others include solar cells operation in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and sales companies in Munich, Germany, Singapore and South Africa, and the research and development team focusing on silicon technology based in Munich. The deal excludes Shell Solar Rural business.

"These operations will fit well within our portfolio and further strengthen our ability to meet the world's growing demand for solar energy alternatives," Asbeck said in the statement. "This lucky deal represents a focused approach of expanding capacity and presence in the most expanding solar markets worldwide," Asbeck added.

German solar stocks have risen sharply recently as investors bet that solar firms could benefit from U.S. plans to be less dependent on oil and California's aim to be one of the world's largest producers of power generated from the sun's rays. Shares of SolarWorld's rivals like Conergy , Q-Cells and Ersol have also profited from the plan. Germany is the largest solar market apart from Japan. German solar firms have been flocking to the Frankfurt stock market to raise funds for expansion, encouraged by investors' strong appetite for solar stocks.

/more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #7
47. Shell makes record 12.93bn profits
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/til/jsp/modules/Article/p...

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has announced record profits for a UK company of 12.93 billion.

The figure - which equates to almost 1.5 million an hour - was up nearly a third on last year, when it set a UK record with profits of 17.59 billion US dollars (9.8bn).

It follows a year in which the cost of crude jumped from below 45 US dollars a barrel to hit a new record above 70 US dollars.

Shell made 5.4 billion US dollars (3.04bn) in the last quarter of its financial year, against 5.22 billion US dollars (2.94bn) in the same period last year.

The group said it expected to use some of the windfall to return up to five billion US dollars (2.82bn) to investors through share buybacks in 2006.

The bulk of Shell's profits come from its "upstream" business - getting oil and gas out of the ground.

This division has been boosted by the spiralling cost of crude oil, which rose sharply last summer on tensions in oil-producing countries and a particularly bad hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico.

...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. AstraZeneca profit leaps, Toprol key to 2006. Shares fall 1.3%
LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc met forecasts with a 44 percent rise in 2005 earnings, boosted by strong medicine sales and tight cost control, and Europe's third-biggest drug maker on Thursday saw more growth in 2006.

But the Anglo-Swedish group said its 2006 forecasts hinged on how soon generic drugmakers launched a cheap, copycat version of heart drug Toprol XL, which recently lost patent protection.

AstraZeneca posted 2005 earnings per share (EPS) of $2.91, hitting the average forecast by 22 analysts in a Reuters poll, and in line with its guidance of $2.85 to $2.95. Sales rose 12 percent to $23.95 billion, just beating the average forecast of $23.83 billion. Chief Executive David Brennan, who took over the top job earlier this month, said 2006 earnings were expected to climb to $3.40 to $3.60 per share, driven by sales of antiulcerant Nexium and schizophrenia drug Seroquel.

But this forecast includes around 45 cents related to Toprol XL, which could be in jeopardy if U.S. regulators approve a generic version of the heart drug soon.

At 11:20 a.m. British time, AstraZeneca shares were down 1.3 percent at 26.98 pounds.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
27. European stocks somewhat depressed at midday
Swiss SMI up 0.10% at CHF 7843.66 13:40:09
Xetra Dax 30 down 0.3% at 5,710.28 in Frankfurt 12:41
CAC 40 down 0.5% at 4,976.83 in lunchtime trade in Paris 12:34
FTSE 100 down 0.2% at 5,789.9 in mid-session trade in London 12:23
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
78. Europe follows Wall St., oil companies down at close
Swiss SMI down -0.64% at CHF 7785.94 17:30:42 CET
CAC 40 closes down 1.4% at 4,927.89 in Paris 16:42 GMT
Xetra Dax 30 closes down 1.3% at 5,649.60 in Frankfurt 16:41 GMT
FTSE 100 closes down 0.9% at 5,747.3 in London 16:42 GMT
FTSE 250 closes down 0.5% at 9,234.7 in London 16:40 GMT
FTSE Eurofirst 300 down 0.9% at 1,321.50 in closing exchanges in London 16:25 GMT

Bourses close lower after crude oil prices slide <sic>
European stock markets fell on Thursday as oil stocks weakened in the face of an extended slide in crude prices following surprisingly robust US inventory levels. Further adding to the sectors decline was disappointing news on reserves replacement at Royal Dutch Shell, which overshadowed the Anglo-Dutch oil companys record-breaking full-year results. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index fell 0.9 per cent in closing trade to 1,320.49. In Paris, the CAC 40 closed 1.4 per cent lower at 4,927.89 while the Xetra Dax 30 in Frankfurt closed down 1.3 per cent at 5,649.60. The FTSE 100 in London finished 0.9 per cent weaker at 5,747.3.

European shares extend falls to 1 pct, oils slide
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European share indexes extended Thursday's falls to around 1 percent in late afternoon business, hit by falling oil and drugs shares along with a big slide on Wall Street.

By 1630 GMT Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was down 58.6 points or 1 percent to 5,743.0, its low on the day. Europe's FTSEurofirst index was down 1 percent at 1,320.49 while Germany's Dax <.GDAXI> and France's CAC 40 <.FCHI> were both down 1.4 percent.

Shares around the region fell back from around 4-1/2-year highs dragged down by stocks including Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) as investors swiftly punished firms whose earnings or outlooks disappointed.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:32 AM
Response to Original message
6. WrapUp by Mike Hartman
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Markets are mixed and choppy in todays trading following the meeting of the Federal Reserve yesterday and the State of the Union Address. The Dow Industrial Index is slightly higher, the NASDAQ Composite lower, Treasury notes and bonds are lower, and the dollar is up against all major currencies. Markets are working to digest the changes in the wording from the Federal Reserve from measured rate increases to, Some further tightening may be needed. Some analysts may also be looking for a clue as to where the cuts will come in government spending based on the President's speech last night.

Fed Fund futures are indicating an 82% probability the Fed will raise interest rates another 25 basis points when they meet again on March 28th. Notes and bonds are selling lower which pushes interest rates/yields higher. Bond investors are looking at the enormous supply of new debt scheduled to hit the market next week with the quarterly debt refunding from the federal government. The Treasury announced today they intend to sell $21 billion of three-year notes on Tuesday, $13 billion ten-year notes on Wednesday and have resurrected the 30-year bond to auction $14 billion on Thursday. The new supply will total $48 billion next week, and the Treasury also said the new debt needed for this quarter has been bumped-up from the estimated $171 billion to $188 billion. The Congress will have to raise our countrys legal debt limit by the middle of this month or else the federal government will not be allowed to auction the proposed debt. Could this be an opportunity for Congress to play a little hardball with the Executive Branch? We shall see.

-cut-

Frustrations to Solutions

When I last wrote on January 18th, I became rather frustrated and heavy-handed about the garbage reporting from the mainstream media. The main topic that irritated me was the complete lack of reporting about the Iranian Oil Bourse (exchange) that will be selling oil for euros rather than dollars beginning March 20th. As I said then, the threat to the dollar is much bigger than the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, but you wont hear about it on the evening news or in your local newspaper. The mainstream media has become a massive propaganda machine for the powers that be.

Rather than ranting on and on about the lack of truth in the sound bites on TV, I decided to be proactive in helping the Financial Sense readers find a great source of information on geopolitical developments around the globe. I requested permission from Mr. Joel Skousen to have his latest update of the World Affairs Brief posted in its entirety on the Financial Sense website. Mr. Skousen graciously granted his permission for all of you to get a taste of the things that are really going on in different parts of the world.

more...

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. Gee, thanks for the Skousen, Ozy
"1. The US Will Continue Making the Case For War Against Iran and Syria. War is coming, with either nation or both, by 2007. One analyst with contacts in Israel says the strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is coming as early as March of 2006..."

Great stuff first/last thing in the morning (as if we didn't have this full-on the radar already!!!).

As regards: "7. Russia Will Continue Its Re-Sovietization and Building For a Future War": That's a misuse of language. Rather than Marxist-Leninist 'sovietization' (collectivism), we're just looking at the more-or-less usual authoritarian capitalism - see eg. Singapore (and of course China).

Will read more over lunch :hi:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
74. Skousen was another that was silenced by right-wing Regnery Press
(see my post about Lou Dobbs)

More about Regnery Press


Since 1996, Regnery has published no less than eight presidential exposs: Roger Morris's Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America, Bill Gertz's Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett's Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash, Ann Coulter's High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories, Gary Aldrich's Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, and R. Emmett Tyrrell's The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton: A Political Docu-Drama and Boy Clinton: The Political Biography. To date, five of these books have made various best-seller lists.

For all intents and purposes, the eight are interchangeable--with each other and, stylistically, with most of the other political books in Regnery's catalogue. Each posits a nebulous conspiracy centered around the Clinton White House, a murky stew that typically blends one or more of the following ingredients: shady banking and land deals loosely grouped under the "Whitewater" rubric; the murder--or induced suicide--of Vince Foster; Filegate and Travelgate; dalliances with prostitutes and nymphets; rampant drug use; treason via Chinese spies; and an Arkansas-based, Clinton-masterminded drug-smuggling outfit.

Thus constructed, Regnery's Clinton books run from the racy to the absurd. Tyrrell's Boy Clinton follows the future president from alleged cocaine benders with Little Rock entrepreneur Dan Lasater to his sojourn with communists in Prague during the late 1960s. ("Inquiries I had made about his trip to Moscow turned up little that was new," Tyrrell writes breathlessly. "People were still wondering where he had gotten sufficient funding for such a trip. Some still suspected a KGB front. Others suggested the CIA.") Coulter, although her tone is even more vicious than Evans-Pritchard's ("We have a national debate about whether he 'did it,' even though all sentient people know he did," she writes. "therwise there would only be debates about whether to impeach or assassinate."), relies mostly on the standard litany: Whitewater, Foster's "mysterious" death, Filegate, and Clinton's Paula Jones deposition. It is Evans-Pritchard who proposes what is easily the most tangled web of Clintonian malfeasance, touching not only on the usual stuff--booze, women, land deals--but also on the Oklahoma City bombing, which he argues was actually an FBI sting gone wrong and one of many Justice Department operations by which Bill Clinton has sought to turn America into a police state.

<snip>

But if nothing else, attacking Bill Clinton has been a lucrative endeavor. "What's bad for the country is good for Eagle Publishing," gushed Tom Phillips to his audience at the annual right-wing convocation known as "the Weekend" last February. "Seven successful anti-Clinton books! We took six of them and put them in a shrink-wrapped six-pack for $99." When Clinton leaves office, there's always his presumptive heir; released in May, excerpted in Human Events--and offered free, via direct mail, to new Human Events subscribers--was former ABC analyst Bob Zelnick's Gore: A Political Life. And if Gore sells poorly, Eagle can always to go back to the Clinton well: Currently in bookstores, just in time for primary season, is Barbara Olson's Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton.


So there you have it: Tom Phillips of Regnery Press - motto:

"What's bad for the country is good for Eagle Publishing," gushed Tom Phillips
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #74
84. Perfect full-on capitalist theology.
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 11:27 AM by EuroObserver
(Paraphrasing): "What's bad for humanity is good right now for my bottom line."

ed. And yeah, at a certain age we guys must take great care in the face of all those "mymphets" (aka. "Lolitas") :evilgrin:
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:36 AM
Response to Original message
10. U.S. stock futures dip as crude resumes rise
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures slipped on Thursday with crude prices ticking back up towards $67 a barrel and as investors stayed cautious before a key U.S. jobs report on Friday. By 1045 GMT, U.S. stock futures were showing losses of between 0.3 and 0.4 percent for the three main indexes <SPH6> <DJH6> <NDH6>. Sentiment on Wall Street may pick up later however, with a raft of top companies expected to report substantial rises in earnings including Amazon.com (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after stronger profits than expected from aerospace company Boeing Co. (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) among others overshadowed Google Inc.'s (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) first earnings shortfall as a public company, which had hit the market earlier.
...
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is set to rise in regular trade, having jumped nearly 6 percent to $33.18 on the Inet electronic brokerage system after the coffee chain reported forecast-beating earnings and increased its 2006 profit target.

Crude oil futures <CLc1> edged up because of intensifying tension over Iran's nuclear programme, but energy stocks may not feel the benefit after European oils fell following Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) results which failed to inspire. "It may be that the energy stocks follow in the wake of the slightly negative performance of oil stocks in Europe this morning," Buik added.
more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
26. **Oil holds above $66 as tension mounts over Iran**
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 08:21 AM by EuroObserver
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil held above $66 on Thursday as tension intensified over the nuclear program of the world number four crude exporter Iran, dwarfing swelling U.S. fuel inventories. The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna to consider reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

U.S. light crude was down 28 cents at $66.28 a barrel by 1150 GMT after sliding over a dollar in the previous session. London Brent crude fell 53 cents to $64.50 a barrel.

"At the level of politics and geopolitical risk, the shadows have continued to gather and darken, and the market has become increasingly unnerved by the general drift in developments," Barclays Capital wrote in its weekly oil review.

"If it comes to fight between those influences and flows of short-term data, then we would expect geopolitics to win out."
...
In a Reuters interview aboard Air Force One, Bush said he saw a "very good chance" the IAEA will refer Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions. However, consideration of such an action is not expected until after the U.N.'s atomic watchdog presents a conclusive report on March 6.

The steep drop in oil prices on Wednesday came after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 4.2 million-barrel rise in gasoline supplies in the world's largest energy consumer last week, nearly four times analysts' expectations, prompting funds and locals to take profit. The gasoline stockbuild erased a year-on-year deficit that had attracted heavy buying by funds betting on a supply crunch in the run-up to the U.S. summer driving season. Warm winter in the key heating oil region of the U.S. northest has sent the country's weekly stocks up 1.8 million barrels to 59.6 million barrels, 27 percent above year-ago levels, EIA data showed.

The world's third largest consumer Japan reported sharply lower crude inventory figures. Japan's commercial crude oil stocks fell below 15 million kilolitres (94.5 million barrels) for the first time in more than three decades last week as refiners ran at top tilts to supply heating fuel for an unusually cold winter. Japanese refiners have been running at peak rates around 94 percent of capacity in the past few weeks as sales of kerosene, the main heating fuel, shot to record highs in December.

/more...

So, some of these US stocks are "strategic reserves" and another sign of preparations for war???
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
101. March Crude @ $64.88 bbl
1:26pm 02/02/06 MARCH CRUDE DROPS UNDER $65/BRL TO LOWEST SINCE JAN. 13

1:26pm 02/02/06 MARCH CRUDE LAST DOWN $1.71 AT $64.88/BRL IN NY
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
48. Bush won't tread on big oil's toes
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/...


Few administrations have been as closely tied to the oil industry as the current one, given the President and Vice-President Dick Cheney both worked in the sector, and this has shown in the approach they have taken to energy policy over the past five years.

The President's State of the Union address was clearly an attempt to lay out a new domestic agenda for his last three years in the White House, however, after the failure of his tilts at tax and Social Security reform, and so it also included what at first glance looked like a new tack on energy policy.

Certainly most of the post-speech headlines were about Bush's proposal that the US reduce its dependence on oil imported from the Middle East by 75 per cent over the next two decades, and his push for additional funding for alternative fuels.

<snip>

As a simple comparison of prices at the pump will reveal, by far the most effective way to begin the weaning would be for the US to tax oil more heavily. Last weekend, according to official figures, the average price of petrol across the US was $US2.34 per gallon - about 82 Australian cents per litre.

But this is an administration that has not so far seen a problem that it couldn't cure with a tax cut, and so taxing oil more heavily is out of the question.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. Bush Defends Big Oil's Profits (& refused to discuss his links w/Abramoff)
Bush Says Don't Expect Oil Price Breaks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - President Bush defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp. Wednesday, saying they are simply the result of the marketplace and that consumers socked with soaring energy costs should not expect price breaks.

<snip>

Bush, a former Texas oilman, said of oil costs, "I think that basically the price is determined by the marketplace and that's the way it should be."

<snip>

Early this week, Exxon reported record profits of $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year — the largest of any U.S. company. While some politicians raised furious objections, Bush had a different reaction.

"There is a marketplace in American society," he said.

<snip>

• He rejected calls from some Republicans for the White House to disclose all its contacts with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Bush said there was an investigation of Abramoff's activities and "to the extent they ask for information, they'll get it."

...more at link...

In Dimson's world, the meaning of "ownership society" is that his part of "society" gets to "own" the rest of the people.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #52
59. Oil, gas spike lift Apache profit 55%
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/print_story.asp?print=1...

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Oil and gas producer Apache Corp. posted Thursday a 55% jump in its fourth-quarter profit, with sharply higher energy prices outpacing production losses suffered from the summer's Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The Houston-based Apache (APA) said it earned $786.8 million, or $2.35 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $507 million, or $1.52 a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue climbed to $2.1 billion from $1.53 billion.

<snip>

For the full year, Apache racked up net income of $2.62 billion, or $7.84 a share, up 57% from $1.66 billion, or $5.03 a share, in 2004. Sales for the year totaled $7.58 billion, up from $5.33 billion in 2004.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. self-deleted (posted in wrong place)
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 10:04 AM by UpInArms
:blush:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
49. March Crude @ $66.15 bbl - March NatGas @ $8.42 mln btus
March crude falls to $66.15/brl, down 41c in early trading
10:06 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

March natural gas drops 3.5%, or 30.3c, to $8.42/mln BTUs
10:06 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
80. March Crude @ $65.25 bbl - March NatGas @ $8.28 mln btus
March crude touches three-week low of $65.25/brl
12:04 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

March crude last down $1.21, or 1.8%, at $65.35/brl
12:04 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

March natural gas drops 5.1% to 1-wk low of $8.28/mln BTUs
12:04 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
93. Oil falls $1 as Iran sanctions seen distant
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil fell $1 a barrel on Thursday as U.S. and European leaders played down the threat of United Nations sanctions against Iran.

U.S. light crude fell $1.01 to $65.55 a barrel by 1710 GMT, following a slide of over a dollar in the previous session. London Brent crude fell $1.23 to $63.80 a barrel.

"A bit of the premium in the oil price on Iran has been taken off today," said Craig Pennington, an analyst at investment bank Schroders. "The market interpretation (of U.S. comments) is that there will be no sanctions and that oil won't be used."

U.S. and European leaders, aware that Russia, China and developing nations are keen to avoid a confrontation with Iran, said Security Council involvement did not mean an end to diplomacy or that Iran would necessarily face sanctions.

MORE
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
110. March Crude closes @ $64.68 bbl - March NatGas @ $8.347 mln btus
2:59pm 02/02/06 MARCH CRUDE FALLS 2.8%, CLOSES AT 3-WK LOW OF $64.68/BRL

2:53pm 02/02/06 MARCH NATURAL GAS CLOSES AT LOWEST LEVEL SINCE JUNE

2:53pm 02/02/06 MARCH NATURAL GAS FALLS 4.3% TO END AT $8.347/MLN BTUS
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
11. Gold holds near highs in Asia trade, Thai investors sell bars
SINGAPORE, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Gold held near its highest level in 25 years on Thursday, but gains were capped by sales of scraps and gold bars in Thailand and Indonesia.

Spot gold <XAU=> rose to as high as $571.25 an ounce before retreating to $570.60/571.50 an ounce, higher than $569.40/570.30 late in New York on Wednesday but below Tuesday's 25-year high of $572.20 an ounce. Some dealers said $567.50 an ounce provided support but gold may find trouble trading beyond $571, despite a rebound in Japanese futures, mainly because of steady sales in the physical side. The benchmark December contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange <0#JAU:> rose 30 yen per gram to 2,222 yen, having fallen the previous day on a technical correction.

"Many factories are still closed for the Chinese New Year holidays, but I still get phone calls from jewellers because the price is so volatile," said a dealer in Singapore. "Thailand is selling gold bars and I believe Indonesia is doing the same thing because I have queries from customers who asked for material from there. Premiums are the same but I don't think people really bother," he said.
...
Dealers said many Indonesians have been selling gold for cash after inflation soared to a six-year high. Poor domestic consumption in Southeast Asia's main buyer has also forced many factories to melt gold jewellery and sell them as gold bars in Singapore. In Thailand, holders booked profits after actively buying gold for investment late last year because of the poor performance of the country's stock markets. But dealers said investors mainly were adjusting positions slightly after a fund-led rally that propelled gold, silver and platinum to multi-year highs this week.
...
In other precious metals, silver <XAG=> edged up $9.84/9.88 an ounce from New York's levels at $9.76/9.79 an ounce. Platinum <XPT=> rose to $1,076/1,080 an ounce from $1,071/1,075 an ounce. Sister metal palladium <XPD=> fell to $292/296 an ounce from $293/296.
/more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #11
50. Gold tops $578; analysts predict more gains
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?siteid=mktw&g...

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Physical and investment demand drove gold futures over $578 an ounce Thursday to new 25-year highs as analysts continued to tout the likelihood for even higher prices.

The per-ounce levels of "$600 gold and $10 silver have been targets I felt were only a question of when not if, said Peter Grandich, editor of the Grandich Letter.

Even so, he says "a serious correction can occur once the excitement of reaching these levels is exhausted."

Gold for April delivery climbed as high as $578.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- trading at levels not seen since January 1981. It was last at $576.20, up $2.20.

"The drop in supply from central banks, added to the new investment demand from the E.T.F.'s (exchange-traded funds), and Japanese and investment bank buying, keeps gold driving forward, barely pausing for breath," said Julian Phillips, an analyst at online resource GoldForecaster.com.

"It's not so much an individual crisis that takes gold up, but the number of potential crises that make one possible and trigger others, that makes gold an attractive investment," he explained.

<snip>

Elsewhere in the metals market, March silver tacked on 6 cents to trade at $9.855 an ounce after climbing as high as $9.915 an ounce. The day's high matches Tuesday's high, which was the loftiest level since 1984.

...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #50
79. Gold rally "not a bubble"
LONDON (Reuters) - Gold's 37 percent rise in six months to 25-year highs, far from a price-bubble ready to pop, will continue upwards on renewed fund enthusiasm, analysts said.

The bull market may attract even more new money in the coming years, with potential for bigger price spikes, they said.

"Like a gorilla with a gun, gold can go anywhere it wants," said Peter Hillyard, head of metals sales, ANZ Investment Bank. "With the quest for yield, the need for portfolio diversification and the huge appetite funds have for risk, all commodities are certain to rock for a lot longer. It's not a bubble about to burst."

Gold prices peaked at $573.30 a troy ounce on Thursday, gaining 11 percent this year on top of an 18 percent rise in 2005. The metal has more than doubled in five years. But analysts say gold has room to go much higher. It is still well off January 1980's all-time high of $850, a level which would now stand at $2,100 after adjusting for inflation.

/more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
67. April Gold @ $576.20 oz
April gold climbs $2.20 to $576.20/oz, off $579.50 high
11:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
104. April Gold @ $576.80 oz March Silver @ $9.877 oz March Copper @ $2.309 lb
1:52pm 02/02/06 APRIL GOLD CLOSES AT $576.80/OZ, UP $2.80

1:52pm 02/02/06 MARCH SILVER UP 8.2C, OR 0.8%, TO END AT $9.877/OZ

1:41pm 02/02/06 MARCH COPPER UP 2.7%, CLOSES AT RA ECORD $2.309/LB
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. Today's Reports
Feb 2 8:30 AM Initial Claims 01/28
Briefing Forecast 290K
Market Expects 295K
Prior 283K

Feb 2 8:30 AM Productivity-Prel Q4
Briefing Forecast 0.0%
Market Expects 1.0%
Prior 4.7%
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. 8:30 reports:
U.S. 3Q unit labor costs revised to -0.5% vs. -1.0%
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 3Q productivity revised to 4.5% vs. 4.7%
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 2005 unit labor costs rise 2.4%, most since 2000
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 2005 productivity rises 2.7%, lowest since 2001
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 4Q unit labor costs rise 3.5%
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 4Q productivity falls 0.6%, 1st drop since 2001
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S.continuing jobless claims fall 64,000 to 2.5mln
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. 4-week avg. initial claims 284,250, 5-1/2 year low
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

U.S. initial jobless claims fall 11,000 to 273,000
8:30 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. U.S. productivity falls 0.6% in fourth quarter
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/newsfinder/pulseone.asp...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Productivity of the American workplace fell at an annualized rate of 0.6% in the fourth quarter, the first decline since the first quarter of 2001, the Labor Department estimated Friday. Unit labor costs - a key gauge of inflationary pressures - rose 3.5% annualized, the most in a year. The quarterly productivity numbers were much worse than the 1.2% gain expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. In the third quarter, productivity was revised to a 4.5% increase from 4.7% previously. Third-quarter unit labor costs fell 0.5%, rather than the 1% decline originally reported. For all of 2005, productivity increased 2.7%, the smallest increase since 2001.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #19
64. A little more on the initial claims front
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7BFF07D...

The claims data are very volatile this time of year. The government's statistical seasonal adjustment factors cannot completely smooth out the massive swings in seasonal employment in December and January.

Some economists theorize that hiring in the retail sector was particularly weak this past holiday season, which meant fewer workers were laid off in January, thus holding initial claims down. In addition, one of the warmest Januarys on record likely kept many workers on the job longer in construction and other outside work.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Claims @ 273,000
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/newsfinder/pulseone.asp...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - First-time seasonally adjusted claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 to 273,000 in the week ending Jan. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average of new claims fell by 4,750 to 284,250, the lowest since June 2000. The number of people collecting state unemployment benefits fell by 64,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.5 million in the week ending Jan. 21, the lowest since February 2001. The four-week average of continuing claims fell by about 46,000 to 2.58 million. The insured unemployment rate - the percentage of those workers covered by unemployment insurance who are actually collecting - fell to 1.9% from 2%, the lowest rate since February 2001.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
53. DOE: NatGas stocks down 88 bln cubic ft
U.S. natural gas stocks down 88 bln cubic ft: Energy Dept
10:31 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

March natural gas drops 3.9% to 1-wk low of $8.35/mln BTUs
10:32 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
18. Sterling near 6-wk high vs euro before ECB meeting
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Sterling held close to a six-week high against the euro on Thursday before a meeting of the European Central Bank, which is expected to keep interest rates unchanged.

Analysts said the ECB would almost certainly leave its benchmark refinancing rate at 2.25 percent but could prepare the ground for a rate hike in March, which would narrow sterling's interest rate advantage over the euro.

By 0900 GMT, sterling was steady against the dollar at $1.7730 <GBP=>. It was flat against the euro at 67.93 pence <EURGBP=> after hitting a 5-week high of 67.87 pence on Wednesday following upbeat British manufacturing data and sterling-positive corporate takeover speculation.
...
Thursday's market focus will be on the ECB meeting, with ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet slated to speak at 1330 GMT. "The market is now waiting to see how Trichet is going to address the current economic outlook and the future platform for inflation and interest rates, which will be key issues," said Kamal Sharma, currency strategist at Bank of America. "Trichet has to sound more hawkish today to get the euro higher, which I think he will." Trichet said last week that recent data backed a view that growth in the euro zone was picking up, while other ECB board members have struck a more cautious tone.

/more...


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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. Eurozone interest rates held at 2.25 per cent
http://mwprices.ft.com/custom/ft-com/story.asp?dateid=3...
The European Central Bank held its main refinancing rate at 2.25 per cent for a second month, having raised rates for the first time in five years in December. The move was widely anticipated, with most economists instead expecting the ECB to initiate its second quarter-point rate hike of the cycle in March. Some 28 out of 30 economists polled by AFX News and Agence France-Presse said they expected the ECBs next move to be a quarter-point hike in March. Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the Frankfurt-based bank, indicated after Januarys meeting that the market, which was pricing in two rate rises this year, the first of these in March, had pretty well captured the ECBs message. Data flow since the January meeting has strengthened the hand of hawks on the ECBs governing council. Last weeks German IFO business sentiment survey came in at its highest level since May 2000. Alongside rising investor sentiment and strong export growth, this suggested the nascent German economic recovery was becoming more entrenched, encouraging the German government to raise its 2006 growth forecast from 1.2 to 1.4 per cent.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
22. daily dollar watch
http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX

Last trade 89.52 Change -0.02 (-0.02%)

Dollar Makes Its Presence Felt

http://www.dailyfx.com/story/dailyfx_reports/daily_tech...

EUR/USD – Euro bulls once again were in full retreat after the greenback longs managed to push the pair below 1.2115, a level marked by the 50.0 Fib of the 1.2588-1.1639 USD rally. As euro bulls continue to retreat, a further move to the downside will most likely see the pair extend its decline below the psychologically important 1.2000 handle, a level established by the 38.2 Fib 1.2588-1.1639 USD rally. A sustained downside momentum will most likely see greenback traders push the pair lower and test the euro’s bids around 1.1961, a 50-day SMA and with sustained momentum to the downside most likely seeing EUR/USD tumble toward 1.1865, a 23.6 Fib of the 1.2588-1.1639 USD rally. Indicators are favoring euro longs with both positive momentum indicator and MACD treading above the zero line, while neutral oscillators give the pair enough room to maneuver.

<snip>

USD/JPY – Japanese Yen longs felt the full brunt of the countermove launched by the dollar bulls as pair once again retreated above the 118.00 figure. A further move to the upside will most likely see USD/JPY head higher and with a move above 119.93, a level established by November 28 daily high, which also acts as a gateway toward the psychologically important 120.00 handle. A sustained momentum to the upside will most likely see the pair gain further upside momentum and with a break above the psychologically important 120.00 handle, most likely aiming for 121.39, a level defended by the 2005 High and a start of the previous anti-dollar rally. A move following the breakout will most likely see the pair extend its gains toward 123.25, a level established by the November 25, 2002 daily high. Indicators are mixed with positive momentum indicator above the zero line and MACD below the zero line, with ADX above 25 at 28.63, signaling an existence of a maturing trend, not a direction of one, while overbought Stochastic adds to the trending outlook.

...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #22
38. That's good news for now in most Japanese markets
...helps exports, earnings...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
23. Printing Press Report:Fed adds temporary reserves via 14-day repos
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve said on Thursday that it was adding temporary reserves to the banking system through 14-day system repurchase agreements.

The benchmark fed funds rate last traded at 4.5 percent, the Fed's current target for the overnight lending rate.

Further details of the operations are available at: http://www.ny.frb.org/markets/omo/dmm/temp.cfm
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. US Treasuries lower after drop in Q4 productivity
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

CHICAGO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices fell slightly on Thursday after a surprising decline in U.S. non-farm productivity and an unexpected drop in weekly jobless claims.

Weekly claims had been forecast to rise in the week ended Jan. 28 but instead slipped to 273,000 from a revised 284,000, pushing down the four-week claims average to the lowest since mid-2000.

Meanwhile, fourth-quarter productivity fell 0.6 percent after being forecast up 1.6 percent, the first decline since the first quarter of 2001.

The reports ignited fresh worries about the potential for wage-based inflation in a tightening jobs market, pushing up bond yields, which move inversely to prices.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
24. January 2006 planned layoffs 12% higher than Jan 2005
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

CHICAGO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. companies planned 103,466 layoffs in January, down 4 percent from December but 12 percent higher than the January 2005 level, a report said on Thursday.

Announced layoffs were above 100,000 for a second straight month, following December's 107,822 job cuts, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. It said the layoffs largely reflected huge cuts pending from struggling automaker Ford Motor Co. (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Continued fallout from Hurricane Katrina in the government and non-profit sector and a typical post-holiday purge of seasonal workers in the retail sector also contributed to the number of layoffs.

"It is not unusual to see heavy job-cutting in the beginning of the year. Companies are still making adjustments based on the previous year's performance," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray.

Job cuts announced in the automotive sector were 36,299, almost all at Ford.

By region, January job-cut announcements were heaviest among companies based in the Midwest and the East and much lighter in the South and West/Southwest regions.

...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. US Jobless claims fall unexpectedly last week
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly to 273,000 last week, pushing a four-week average of claims to the lowest level in nearly six years, a government report showed on Thursday.

Initial claims for state jobless aid fell 11,000 in the week ended January 28 from an upwardly revised 284,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. That bucked Wall Street expectations for an increase in claims to 295,000 from the initially reported 283,000 claims the prior week.A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors behind the drop.

A four-week average of new claims, which smoothes weekly volatility to provide a better picture of labor market trends, decreased 4,750 to 284,250 - the lowest since June 2000, when it hit 283,500.

The number of unemployed workers who remained on the benefit rolls after drawing an initial week of aid fell 64,000 to 2.51 million in the week ended January 21, the latest period for which that data is available. That was just below market expectations and marked the lowest level of continued claims since February 2001.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
29. China and India boom, but stock markets diverge
HONG KONG/MUMBAI (Reuters) - China and India are the world's hottest major economies, but their stock markets have been moving in opposite directions. After four straight years of gains, India has become the most expensive market in Asia excluding Japan, while China's locally traded stocks are finally starting to look attractive after falling for four of the last five years. "I think India's stock market has perhaps already reflected more than what the fundamentals suggest in the immediate term. So a short, sharp correction is very much on the cards," said Bratin Sanyal, head of Asian equity investments at ING Investment Management in Hong Kong. But in the medium- to longer-term, fund managers say it is prudent to be exposed to both markets as long as their bullish economic growth outlooks remain intact.

Unlike India, China had been plagued by uncertainty surrounding Beijing's stock market reforms, which have raised fears the market will be flooded with new issues as the government unloads $250 billion (141 billion pounds) worth of state shares. But with the reform well underway and China looking to open its so-called A-share market further to foreign investors, investor confidence is starting to return. The index of Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong, which is more easily accessible to international investors and includes many of China's top firms, has posted double-digit gains so far this year, reaching its highest level in more than eight years. But China A-shares are still 77 percent off their peak hit in June 2001.

"Given that the (A share) market has underperformed so much and there has been such a hugh discrepancy between the state of the economy and the stock market...I think the stock market will catch up with the reality and the economy," Bratin added.
...
India's stock market trades at some 16 times 2006 earnings, which some market watchers say is justified by strong earnings growth, but is still well above 11 times for MSCI China <.MSCICN> and 11.5 times for Asia ex-Japan <.MSCIAPJ>, according to Bratin.

/more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
31. House passes cuts to Medicaid, student loans
$39 billion deficit reduction bill pass on party-line vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The budget-cutting bill awaiting President Bush's signature may only make a small dent in the nation's huge deficit, but he is expected to propose more cuts in his 2007 plan, including farm subsidies, Medicaid and Medicare.

The House on Wednesday sent Bush a major bill cutting benefit programs like Medicaid and student loan subsidies. The president is ready to sign the bill and move on to next year's budget cycle.

On February 6, he is releasing his 2007 budget plan, which is likely to call for new cuts to benefits programs like farm subsidies, Medicaid, food stamps and Medicare. Many lawmakers and budget experts are skeptical, though, of the chances for another budget-cut bill during an election year.

The House passed the bill 216-214 on Wednesday, mostly along party lines. It was Congress' first attempt in eight years to slow the growth of benefit programs like Medicaid and student loan subsidies.

<snip>

"As the Republican budget ax fell on the poor and students, powerful special interests were cutting special deals in the conference committee," said Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #31
55. With ALL their freakin' legislation related to national security, along
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 09:43 AM by 54anickel
with their total disregard for the "rule of law" do they REALLY think they can be considered the "party of smaller, more efficient government?

We all pretty much understand the definition of efficient:

Acting directly to produce an effect: an efficient cause. See Synonyms at effective.

Acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort.
Exhibiting a high ratio of output to input.

being effective without wasting time or effort or expense; "an efficient production manager"; "efficient engines save gas" 2: able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively; "people who will do nothing unless they get something out of it for themselves are often highly effective persons..."-G.B.Shaw; "effective personnel"; "an efficient secretary"; "the efficient cause of the revolution"


Maybe we need to have the Republicans fess up to their definition of government, because I can't figure out how what they've been producing ties into that whole idea of of, by, for the people What the heck are they efficient at? (Besides robbing us blind) :crazy:

edit to add:

Here's the roll call, only Repubs voting for with 13 of them voting against. Why didn't they bother to put that in the article?

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll004.xml


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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #55
85. ...only Repubs voting for with 13 of them voting against
Well, that's significant, thanks!...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #85
92. I guess because "mostly along party lines" makes it sound more
"partisan". It's those damned Dem obstructionist again. :eyes:

The media just makes me wanna :puke:
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
32. Metals set new record highs as funds rush back
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Key base and precious metals surged to fresh highs on Thursday as investment funds resumed their commodity buying spree after a brief hiatus in mid-week, analysts said. "We are in a new ball game -- a new paradigm. You just have to go with the flow now," Robin Bhar of UBS said.

On the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world's largest non-ferrous metals market, copper and zinc hit new all-time highs, lead traded at a contract peak, while aluminium reached its highest since August 1988.

In precious metals, gold <XAU=> hit a new 25-year high of $572.75 an ounce and platinum a record $1,080.

"It seems as if the funds are once again in the driving seat. Perhaps the start of a new month has brought with it a fresh inflow of funds to be invested," William Adams of BaseMetals.com said.

Copper <MCU3>, used in plumbing and construction, charged up to $4,929 from a previous close of $4,865, before settling at $4,910 at the end of official ring trading. Prompt delivery copper <MCU0> traded up to $5,007, the highest ever outright price paid for the metal, and at a premium of $85/90 over the benchmark three months contract because of scarce nearby supply.

Aluminium <MALK3>, which is widely used in consumer durables, hurdled $2,600 to hit $2,630 amid talk a Middle Eastern smelter was closing out a loss-making hedge position. Prices ended the open-outcry rings at $2,598.50, still up $21.50 from Wednesday. "It is being capped a little, but it is going higher. This is fundamantally justified as the cost of production is rising all the time," a veteran floor trader said.

Aluminium production is energy sensitive, and high oil costs, as well as expensive bauxite raw material inputs, are creating problems for many producers.

Metals are now garnering strong support among a broad cross section of investors, including institutional investors that have kept clear of commodities in the past. Bhar said new investment was coming from pensions, endowment and mutual funds -- players who have rarely, if ever, invested in traditional commodity markets. "The thing is no one knows if we are in the beginning, middle or the end of this...There are no upside levels, it is just clear blue sky," he added.
...
"Copper is red gold," said Owen Hegarty, managing director of Oxiana Resources Ltd. (OXR.AX: Quote, Profile, Research), which is pushing its mine and copper cathode plant in Laos to yield more metal in order to benefit from rising prices. "We have had no problem selling our metal at a premium of at least $100 a tonne over the LME price," he told a meeting of mining executives in Sydney. Prices had paused briefly earlier this week, cooling overheated technicals, although this did not lead to any major reversal. "People said copper would go back to $3,000, aluminium $2,100 and zinc $1,700. But every dip gets bought. Fortunes have been lost by short selling the market," a trader said.
...
"What's to say copper can't go to $5,000, aluminium to $3,000 and zinc to $2,500?" the trader added.

In other metals, zinc <MZN3>, used in galvanising to protect steel from corrosion, hit $2,385, then settled at $2,361, up $8. Lead <MPB3>, whose main end-use is vehicle batteries, soared to $1,430 from $1,388, the highest it has been since the LME's dollar-based contract was launched in the early 1990s, settling at $1,415.

Nickel <MNI3> was at $15,200, against a previous $15,300, while tin <MSN3> was at $7,880 from $7,900.

/more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. China and Japan drive record Rio Tinto profits
http://mwprices.ft.com/custom/ft-com/story.asp?dateid=3... demand from Asian powerhouses Japan and China helped Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining group, boost its annual net profit by 58 per cent to a record US$5.2bn. Thursdays results - up from an annual profit of US$3.29bn in 2004 - underscore Rio Tintos dependence on two of the largest Asian economies, which together account for 34 per cent of the companys sales. China increased its share of Rio Tintos sales from 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the past year while Japan maintained strong demand for iron ore and coking coal. But Paul Skinner, chairman, said the main threats to the companys sustained performance in 2006 was the strength of the global economy, the rate of Chinas rapid industrialisation and the availability of skilled managerial and trade staff. All things being as they are, we are looking forward to another positive year, he said. The results have not surprised the market because of the continuing strength in iron ore and copper prices and Chinese and Japanese steel production. Rio Tintos net earnings from iron ore rocketed by more than 200 per cent to S$1.72bn while net earnings from copper production rose more than up 130 per cent to US$2bn. The favourable global outlook for commodity prices has pushed Rio Tintos share price up 77 per cent on the Australian Stock Exchange and 71 per cent in the London Stock Exchange over the past 12 months. Its London-listed stock lost 0.2 per cent to 2914p in morning trade in London as investors took profits.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
34. Tyco issues profit warning for current quarter
http://today.reuters.com/misc/PrinterFriendlyPopup.aspx...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tyco International Ltd. <TYC.N> on Thursday reported quarterly profit roughly in line with its lowered forecast and forecast disappointing earnings for the current period on weakness in its health care and fire and security divisions.

The diversified manufacturer, which is in the process of splitting into three companies, said it continued to face costs from product recalls and regulatory compliance in the health care business, as well as lower contracting margins in the fire and security unit.

The Bermuda-based company said net income fell to $570 million, or 28 cents per share, in the first quarter ended on December 30, from $730 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest results include a loss of 11 cents per share from discontinued operations. Tyco in December said it would sell its plastics and adhesives business.

<snip>

Tyco, whose products range from fire extinguishers to surgical instruments and anti-theft devices used in stores, said all four of its divisions reported lower operating margins and income, although sales grew in the electronics and engineered products units.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
35. Raytheon Profit Grows on Defense Bookings
http://breakingnews.nypost.com/dynamic/stories/E/EARNS_...

BOSTON (AP) -- Raytheon Co. on Thursday said fourth quarter earnings rose 13 percent, beating Wall Street's expectations, as the missile and defense systems maker enjoyed strong contract bookings.

The maker of the Patriot, Hawks and Tomahawk missiles said net income for the October-December period rose to $276 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with a profit of $245 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales last quarter were $6.2 billion, up 9 percent from $5.7 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Waltham-based Raytheon reported several one-time items in the quarter, including a $30 million gain from the sale of a joint-venture stake, a $19 million charge from an investment and a $7 million charge from early redemption of debt.

Raytheon's full-year profit was $871 million, or $1.92 cents per share, compared with a profit of $417 million, or 94 cents per share, in 2004. Net sales rose to $21.9 billion from $20.2 billion a year ago.

...more...


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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. What a surprise
...gonna make very big bucks soon, by the looks of things...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
36. Electronic Arts cuts hundreds of jobs (approx 325 jobs)
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/...

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Electronic Arts Inc. on Wednesday began laying off several hundred workers in a move the video game publisher says will help cut costs and shift resources amid changing business strategies and a revenue-slowing transition to new gaming machines.

The job cuts will affect about 5 percent of the Redwood City, Calif.-based company's 6,500 employees, EA spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. She declined to give a specific number and would not discuss details about severance packages or divisions most affected.

All affected employees were notified Wednesday. Some cuts were effective immediately and others will occur during the next few weeks.

Muller said layoffs were also conducted during past transitions to new game consoles. "We look at it as an opportunity to align our people, technology and investments against strategic growth targets," she said.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
37. Fed's Bies says concerned on some loan practices (banks in trouble)
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Board Governor Susan Bies said on Thursday that while most U.S. banks were well-managed, regulators were concerned about heavy commercial real estate exposures and risky mortgage lending practices.

Speaking to a financial services industry conference, Bies outlined guidance U.S. bank regulators have issued on commercial real estate and so-called nontraditional mortgage lending practices.

"The proponderance of institutions continues to be sound and well managed," Bies said in remarks prepared for the conference. However, she added: "There are certain rapidly growing business lines in banking operations that are placing pressures on risk-management systems."

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
40. pre-opening blather
09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -2.9. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.0.

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -3.0. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5. Stage remains set for the cash market to consolidate recent gains as the underlying tone remains cautious ahead of Friday's jobs data. Despite strong Jan. same store sales results, helped by holiday gift-card redemptions, mixed earnings reports have also acted as early constraints.

08:30 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -3.1. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.0. Still shaping up to be a sluggish start for stocks. Aside from earnings and retail comps holding center stage, some economic data have also shared the spotlight. A preliminary read on Q4 productivity figure came in at -0.6%, well below the strong 4.1% in Q3, as unit labor costs rose 3.5%, perhaps raising some inflation concern. To wit, bonds, which were flat ahead of the report have inched lower, as the 10-yr note is down 4 ticks to yield 4.57%. Initial claims fell 11K to 273K, below forecasts of 295K; however, the jobless benefits data have had little impact on trading as investors remain more focused on tomorrow's influential employment report. The stock market has so far also shown little reaction to the productivity data.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -3.3. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5. Futures market versus fair value suggests a lower open for the cash market as the indices look to give back a modest portion of yesterday's late-day rally. While nothing specific stands out as a catalyst behind early weakness, as investors continue to sift through a plethora of earnings reports and monthly same-store sales figures, it appears recent market strength has prompted some modest consolidation. At 8:30 ET, a preliminary read on Q4 productivity (consensus +1.0%) and the latest initial claims data (consensus 295K) will hit the wires.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. red numbers at 9:36 EST
Dow 10,925.30 -28.65 (-0.26%)
Nasdaq 2,303.31 -7.25 (-0.31%)
S&P 500 1,279.63 -2.83 (-0.22%)

10-Yr Bond 4.555 -0.06 (-0.13%)


NYSE Volume 99,404,000
Nasdaq Volume 136,052,000
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
42. Ex-AIG, GenRe execs charged: WSJ
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?siteid=mktw&g...

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Three former General Re executives and an ex-American International Group executive have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a controversial transaction between the two giants, according to a media report late Wednesday.

The Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the case, is expected to announce the indictments on Wednesday night or Thursday, The Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. See Wall Street Journal story (subscription required).

Former General Re Chief Executive Ronald Ferguson, former General Re Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Monrad, former General Counsel Robert Graham and the former head of AIG's (AIG) reinsurance operations, Christian Milton, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, The Journal reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Frederick Hafetz, Milton's attorney, said Wednesday that he hadn't been told about an indictment. If indicted, Hafetz said Milton would challenge the allegations in court.

Monrad's lawyer, Paul Shechtman, also said he hadn't been told about any indictments and declined to comment further.

<snip>

The case stems from reinsurance transactions in late 2000 and early 2001 between AIG and General Re that helped AIG artificially inflate its loss reserves. Questions that surfaced about the agreements last year triggered multiple accounting investigations of AIG that toppled longtime Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
43. Nine (angry) little round, red heads
DOH! Just posted this to yesterday's thread by mistake (while checking to see if it was posted yesterday).

http://www.321gold.com/editorials/daughty/daughty020106...

-- I am having a hard time believing that the Federal Reserve is not expanding Total Fed Credit. In fact, it went down last week by $4 billion. Even Currency In Circulation is down. For a bunch of guys who are so hell-bent on flooding the world with money and destroying the USA with inflation, the Federal Reserve is suddenly doing a very poor job of it!

snip>

The real reason, I suspect, is much more prosaic, and that people have started stopping (as strange as that sounds) borrowing money, as suggested by a report on CNNMoney.com, namely that "Americans are among the world's most cash-strapped people, according to the latest semi-annual survey from AC Nielsen. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Americans have no money left once they've paid for their essential living expenses and spent their discretionary dollars. That puts the United States at the top of a list of 42 countries for saving futility."

I am going to gloss over the part where they seem to be saying how we ignorant wastrels out here have paid for "essential living expenses" and have also spent our "discretionary dollars", too! So, is the survey merely finding out who just got tired of spending money before it was all gone?

I dunno. Anyway, this goes along with the facts that about a quarter of the people have no health insurance because they can't afford it, and a quarter of homeowners have no homeowner's insurance because they can't afford it, and about a quarter of the drivers on the road have no automobile insurance because they cannot afford it, and 100% of the people I personally know cannot loan me any more money because they, so they claim, "can't afford it."

But life is not all bad, I am supposed to surmise, as they go on to say, "Some good news for Americans -- the results were an improvement from six months earlier, when 28 percent of those surveyed had nothing left at the end of the month." Well, it may be some good news for "some" Americans, but it is bad FOR America, as this means that at the end of the month there is a lot of money left over that was NOT spent on goods and services. The change may be due, Nielsen suggests, to "an attitude change -- 42 percent of Americans (up from 33 percent) now list debt repayment as their first priority for spare cash."

more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
44. Pentagon hires Felon to Steal, Loot and Rob US and Iraqi Funds in Iraq
Wide Plot Seen in Guilty Plea in Iraq Project

excerpt:

As it turned out, Mr. Stein had the money to give. Despite a prior conviction on felony fraud that his Pentagon background check apparently missed, Mr. Stein was hired and put in charge of at least $82 million of reconstruction money in the south central Iraqi city of Hilla by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American-led administration that was then running Iraq.

<snip>

The court papers say the money was taken by outright theft of millions of dollars in cash — some of it then lugged aboard commercial flights back to the United States — by steering millions of dollars in construction contracts to Mr. Bloom's companies in return for bribes, and through international wire transfers of millions more.

Over all, Mr. Stein is accused of stealing at least $2 million of American taxpayer money and Iraqi funds, which came from Iraqi oil proceeds and money seized from Saddam Hussein's government, accepting at least $1 million in money and goods in direct bribes and grabbing another $600,000 in cash and goods that belonged to the Coalition Provisional Authority. In return, Mr. Stein and his cronies used rigged bids to steer at least $8.6 million in contracts for buildings like the police academy, a library and a center meant to promote democracy, the papers say.

<snip>

Although S&K's contract called for Pentagon background checks, some of which were actually carried out, according to former S&K employees, Mr. Stein was given extraordinary authority in Iraq to authorize and spend money, in spite of his fraud conviction in the mid-1990's.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. Is this what they mean when they spew that dribble about how
"War is good for the economy"? President of my old company said that in a company-wide meeting during the run up to the War on Iraq. Worst part was most of my young, Republican minded co-workers bought into it and agreed. Then the little "Time to Bomb Saddam" cartoons started flying around in e-mails. :eyes:
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #46
86. Feel almost too sick to comment
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 11:55 AM by EuroObserver
(yeah I've heard that before, right here in "WWII neutral (post-civil war fascist)" Spain).

Just point out that those last two big wars were certainly not profitable for the "British Empire", what with having to pay so much for US "protection" and all...

And certainly not at all profitable for all, as Leonard Cohen would say, "the millions slain" (mostly Russian).

And now, here we go again? The military-political-industrial mafia offshore account-holders really reckon they'll get away with it this time?

ed. to add closing bracket, question mark.
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #44
72. What's good for the privatized military industrial complex is good
for, er... freelance crime families? Sure doesn't seem good for America or Iraq or the WOT or winning hearts and minds:

The papers say that the ring of corruption was much wider than previously known, drawing at least seven Americans, including Mr. Stein, Mr. Bloom and five Army reserve officers, into what is portrayed as a maelstrom of greed, sex and gun-running at the heart of the American occupation of a conservative Muslim country.

(I wonder if any of that money made its way back into financing the GOP hostile takeover of America.)
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wordpix2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #72
77. when will we get the investigation of Halliburton-KBR, which have
run amok in Iraq with no audits or accountability?

There was a very eye-opening piece about this on Frontline/PBS a few wks. ago.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #77
90. I'm betting the spin-off of KBR is in preparation of just such an event.
Taking a first step -

http://enr.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0271-24632_ITM

In keeping with a desire to separate from its Kellogg, Brown, and Root unit, Halliburton Co. will hold an initial public offering for a 20% stake in the construction giant after March 31.

Houston-based Halliburton first expressed interest in separating from KBR in 2004. The unit reported $10 billion in 2005 revenue, but has been under fire for its logistics and construction work in Iraq. KBR is now under probe for bribery charges related to a liquefied natural gas facility in Nigeria.

The decision to move forward with the sale stems from a boost in 2005 KBR earnings over 2004 and to more positive trends for E&C firms on Wall Street, says Dave Lesar, Halliburton CEO. We believe the IPO market in general and the public market for engineering and construction companies in particular is very attractive, he says.

Despite the IPO, Halliburton is not closing the door on divesting portions of KBR. In response to interest we receive, we may consider selling pieces of KBR, but we would not expect such sales to change our IPO plans, says C. Christopher Gaut, Halliburton chief financial officer.

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
45. 'Neff Said?
http://www.contraryinvestor.com/mo.htm

'Neff Said...In the wonderful first edition of the Barron's annual roundtable discussions that hit the Street a few weeks back, we saw a quote by John Neff that pretty much stood out like a sore thumb to us. And the reason we bring this up is that John's comments sure seem to be reflective of broader consensus thinking these days regarding the US consumer, the general dismissal of the US savings rate as having any real meaning in the current environment, and very reflective of what the consensus expects for the macro US economy. Before taking even one step further, we'll be the first to admit that we have a ton of respect for Neff. He has clearly proven himself as one of the better investors of our time. In fact, that's exactly why we always make it a point to listen to what he has to say. If we can approach even one half the investment success John has had over time, we'd consider it a minor miracle. Our singling out Neff has nothing to do with Neff, per se, but rather the line of reasoning that seems all to easy today. Here are the appropriate quotes taken from the roundtable discussion verbatim:

Barron's: What kind of year are we headed for? John, let's start with you.

Neff: A good one in the economy, and a pretty good one in the market. I've got the economy up 3%-3%, and the consumer still is in good shape to spend because of $5 trillion of liquidity. What galls me is the negative savings rate. True, it has fallen below zero, but it does not include appreciation in your common stocks or your home.

Barrons: They're not guaranteed.

Neff: But the people who own stocks and homes are influenced by what has happened to both with respect to spending.


As you know, there are a number of messages in John's comments. First, he's implying that the savings rate calculation is either flawed or inappropriate for characterizing the current period. And believe us, he's wildly far from alone amongst the Street pundit community. Secondly, he's absolutely correct in pointing out that indeed households are flush with cash/near liquid holdings bordering on the $5 trillion number. Any way you look at it that's a lot of liquidity and is a record number from a historical standpoint, if we're not incorrect. Neff is suggesting that the US consumer is plenty liquid and more than able to continue spending, especially given the psychological boost of heightened equity and real estate prices. OK, fair enough. We're not disagreeing with Neff's comments in absolute terms. He's dead on. But where we believe Neff should have continued, and where we believe most pundits end this convenient story of the moment, is in not pointing out how these facts presented in isolation fit into the context of broader household financial circumstances of the moment. It's somewhat like us telling you we have a home worth $1 million, but forgetting to add that we have a $900,000 mortgage against it.

We believe that one of the most important exercises in contrarian thinking is trying to specifically analyze and characterize a stream of logic that is both widely held among market participants and works to support their current investment actions, but is inherently flawed. The second step in the process is to bet against it in what we can only hope is well timed fashion. As you know, much easier said than done, now isn't it? Especially the timing part.

We promise to move through this in relatively quick fashion. Bullet point arguments and a good measure of "pictures" to support the thinking. To be honest, we're a bit surprised at Neff's savings rate comments. Why? Because the US savings rate calculation being presented by the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) each month in the personal income numbers report has been a consistent formulaic calculation for over a half century now. No adjusting. No changing the calculation for political or perceptual reasons. In other words, unlike so many government stats of the moment, it's directly comparable across history. In our minds, it's one of the beauties, if not the single most important characteristic of this data series.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
51. One Good(k)night does not a sweet prince make
http://www.fallstreet.com/feb106.php

One of the many themes coursing through Shakespeares Hamlet is the Prince of Denmarks transformation from a man of thought into a man of action. For most of the play Hamlet is building a case against Claudius (for the murder of his father) and debating his options in the form of memorable soliloquies. In the end, and after Hamlet catches the conscience of the King, an unpredictable killing spree ensues, spawned by the hand of the now murderous but once procrastinator Hamlet.

During Alan Greenspans charmed tenure as Federal Reserve Board Chairman the audience, which in this case was investors instead of playgoers, queried when the Fed would act. And while 18-years of anticipation wrought some instances of unpredictability, for the most part Greenspan proceeded in a very pedestrian manner: He collected inflationary evidence (which seemed almost non existent during much of his tenure) and occasionally tightened monetary policy. In the later years, he collected deflationary evidence and loosened monetary policy accordingly. In short, Greenspan was largely a man of inaction that followed the Wall Street script.

The major exception to Sir Greenspans tale of inaction was his response to crisis type events. For example, following the 1987 crash, the Asian crisis, LTCM, and the 2000 stock market bust the usually unhurried Greenspan reacted with great zeal by loosening monetary policy and/or promising future liquidity (some have also suggested that the Fed used direct intervention to keep stock prices from collapsing and to keep gold from skyrocketing, but that is another story). The bailout/easy money policies in response to would be tragedies (Y2K included) are to some Greenspans greatest trait, and for others his tragic flaw.

There are parallels between Hamlet and Greenspan. Both laboriously gathered evidence in the quest for truth. Where Hamlet wanted to identify his fathers killer, Greenspan wanted to identify a sound money policy. However, there is also a key difference. Whereas Hamlet finally acted on the basis of his conscience, Greenspan acted against it. This is why the one engenders a degree of sympathy from the audience despite his delayed action. This is also why the other will likely be vilified should his easy money policies prove a destructive influence in the future.

more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
54. 10:36 EST nobody's happy
Dow 10,919.77 -34.18 (-0.31%)
Nasdaq 2,298.83 -11.73 (-0.51%)
S&P 500 1,278.08 -4.38 (-0.34%)
10-Yr Bond 4.565 +0.04 (+0.09%)


NYSE Volume 555,899,000
Nasdaq Volume 591,083,000

10:30 am : Stocks continue to chalk up modest losses after earlier data showed that labor costs in Q4 rose 3.5%, the fastest pace in more than a year. While the rise labor costs, which could spark wage inflation, and a pullback in productivity were widely expected following a strong 4.5% increase in Q3, perhaps adding to the market's already cautious sentiment, we believe productivity numbers will rebound when GDP growth picks up in the first quarter.DJ30 -25.42 NASDAQ -8.77 SP500 -3.36 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1473/1186/534 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1669/1233/352 mln

10:00 am : Equities are still on the defensive amid modest weakness in the S&P's four most influential economic sectors. Weakness in banks and a 41% profit decline from St. Paul Travelers Co (STA 44.41 -1.20) have weighed on Financial while an analyst downgrade has left Autodesk (ADSK 37.74 -1.65) as the Tech sector's worst performing component (-4.2%). Health Care has also been under pressure following a Q4 disappointment from MedImmune (MEDI 32.67 -1.81) while Tyco's discouraging outlook weighs on Industrials. Materials, though, has clung to a modest gain following reports that Phelps Dodge (PD 165.45 +3.69), a suggested holding in our Active Portfolio, announced a 2-for-1 stock split.DJ30 -20.12 NASDAQ -6.29 SP500 -3.18 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1455/988/322 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1642/985/178 mln
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #54
57. Gold is shiny and smiling though...n/t
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. 10:44 EST - doing that pig-dive thing
Dow 10,901.84 -52.11 (-0.48%)
Nasdaq 2,289.95 -20.61 (-0.89%)
S&P 500 1,276.02 -6.44 (-0.50%)
10-Yr Bond 4.569 +0.08 (+0.18%)


NYSE Volume 616,147,000
Nasdaq Volume 657,608,000
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
56. White House, Chertoff Faulted Over Katrina
Congressional Investigators Blame White House, Chertoff for Lack of Decisive Action on Katrina

WASHINGTON Feb 1, 2006 — The White House and Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff failed to provide decisive action when Hurricane Katrina struck, congressional investigators said Wednesday in a stinging assessment of slow federal relief efforts.

The White House had no clear chain of command in place, investigators with the Government Accountability Office said, laying much of the blame on President Bush for not designating a single official to coordinate federal decision-making for the Aug. 29 storm. Bush has accepted responsibility for the government's halting response, but for the most part then-FEMA Director Michael Brown, who quit days after the hurricane hit, has been the public face of the failures.

"That's up to the president of the United States," GAO Comptroller General David M. Walker told reporters after being asked whether Chertoff should have been the lead official during the emergency.

"It could have been Secretary Chertoff" or someone on the White House staff, Walker added. "That's up to the president."

...more...


Dimson was too busy eating cake and strumming a guitar to be bothered by a disaster that would mostly affect poor black people.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #56
70. Comedic Act Alert: Bush urges confidence in his leadership


http://www.beaufortgazette.com/24hour/politics/story/31...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - President Bush said Wednesday he understands why the nation he has led for five years has become more anxious, and he urged people to have confidence in him.

<snip>

Bush said he is leading a strong nation that is protecting itself and spreading freedom. He said the economy is "roaring," despite concerns that people have after being forced to change jobs in the face of competition from China, India and elsewhere.

<snip>

The friendly audience read: hand-picked at the packed Grand Ole Opry House frequently interrupted the president with applause and laughter. Among the crowd were several country music stars, including Barbara Mandrell, Larry Gatlin, Lee Greenwood, Lorrie Morgan and the Oak Ridge Boys.

<snip>

Outside, more than 100 protesters held up their own signs that said "No Confidence" and "No warrant, no wiretap, no W." That was a reference to Bush's much-debated secret program of eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails in an attempt to sniff out terrorist plots, which he vigorously defended in his State of the Union address and inside the concert hall.

...more...


Confidence in a con-man? Give me a break. :grr:
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #70
95. "C'mon everbody. You ken trust in me. I'll drink a beer witcha."
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #95
106. Hahahahaha! n/t
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #70
105. Economy `In horrible trouble'
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0602...


But in Iowa, many people didn't need to watch the speech to know what they think.

"I think the economy's in horrible trouble," said Mary Thomas, who works in a bakery in Tipton and didn't listen to the speech. "Part of me just wants to grab Bush and shake his brains out."

There may be no better spot to fight over Bush and the state of the nation than Cedar County, a rolling mat of stubbled cornfields separating industrial Davenport from collegiate Iowa City. Out of nearly 10,000 votes cast in the county in the presidential election in 2004, only 122 votes separated Bush from Sen. John Kerry, with Bush getting the edge. In 2000, the county vote tally was deadlocked until the absentee ballots were cast, giving the nod to Vice President Al Gore.

This is a county that knows something about politically polarizing figures: It is the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, whose woeful legacy is being president at the start of the Great Depression. The joke around West Branch is that when Hoover took office in 1929, there were only three Democrats in the entire county. And when he left four years later, there were only three Republicans.

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #70
107. Economy `In horrible trouble'
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0602...


But in Iowa, many people didn't need to watch the speech to know what they think.

"I think the economy's in horrible trouble," said Mary Thomas, who works in a bakery in Tipton and didn't listen to the speech. "Part of me just wants to grab Bush and shake his brains out."

There may be no better spot to fight over Bush and the state of the nation than Cedar County, a rolling mat of stubbled cornfields separating industrial Davenport from collegiate Iowa City. Out of nearly 10,000 votes cast in the county in the presidential election in 2004, only 122 votes separated Bush from Sen. John Kerry, with Bush getting the edge. In 2000, the county vote tally was deadlocked until the absentee ballots were cast, giving the nod to Vice President Al Gore.

This is a county that knows something about politically polarizing figures: It is the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, whose woeful legacy is being president at the start of the Great Depression. The joke around West Branch is that when Hoover took office in 1929, there were only three Democrats in the entire county. And when he left four years later, there were only three Republicans.

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
61. Phillips Publishing (Republican Loyalists) can Lou Dobbs for deviating
from party-line-spew

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/print_story.asp?print=1...

excerpt:

Nevertheless, Phillips Publishing pulled the plug on Dobbs' letter at the end of last year, claiming "with various projects that Lou has in the works and some of our ventures here at Phillips, we find ourselves in a position of not being able to continue the newsletter."

Yeah.

Dobb's subscribers are now getting Richard Band's Profitable Investing, a long established but more conservative service. (See my Aug. 19, 2005 column)

Dobb's departure was a surprise to me and perhaps to Dobbs also, because he gave no hint of it in his last letter.

One of the largest investment letter publishers, Phillips is a ruthlessly efficient marketing operation, with a history of cutting down well-established names, presumably because their letters don't draw subscribers. Notable victims have been one-time Wall Street superanalyst Elaine Garzarelli and long-time man-about-the-investment-letter-world Mark Skousen. Both now publish letters themselves.

Personally, I can't help wondering if Phillips founder Tom Phillips' Beltway Republican loyalty wasn't offended by Dobb's deviationism on free trade and immigration.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #61
63. info on Tom Phillips
http://www.regnery.com/eagle_manage.html

Thomas L. Phillips is Chairman and President of Phillips International, Inc. In January of 1974, he launched the company with two newsletters, three employees and a $1,000 investment. From that entrepreneurial start-up, the company has grown into one of the foremost multimedia publishing firms in America, with a rapidly expanding Internet Business. The firm’s 500 employees produce widely respected newsletters and on-line information services for the consumer investment and health marketplaces. Phillips International is also recognized for its thriving vitamin and nutritional supplement business. The company closed calendar 2000 with more than $350 millions in sales.

In 1993, Tom also founded Eagle Publishing, Inc., dedicated to conservative and pro-American ideals. He remains Chairman of Eagle Publishing, Inc.

Tom was a founding member of the Newsletter Publishers Association, and served as President of the Association. In 1989, he was honored as NPA “National Publisher of the Year.” In 1994, he was elected as the first member of the Newsletter Publishers Hall of Fame.

Tom serves on the Board of Young America’s Foundation, sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Leadership Program. He is on the Board of the Fund for American Studies and Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the Institute on Political Journalism. Tom also serves on the Board of the National Legal Center for Public Interest. He is also a member of the Republican National Committee’s Regents Program, and the Advisory Board of the Claremont Institute. Tom is Chairman of the Chairman’s Council of the Republican Party of Orange County, California, and a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, an international organization of business leaders.

Tom has always been a vigorous supporter of youth. He currently serves on the Board of Junior Achievement of Metropolitan Washington, and the Board of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.


and

http://www.prospect.org/print/V11/5/confessore-n.html


With the publication of Buchanan's A Republic, Not an Empire, the wayward son has joined the godfather. Having dropped Little, Brown, Buchanan issued his latest book through a small, Washington, D.C.-based publishing company named Regnery--a development far more significant than Buchanan's latest update on Jewish bankers. Regnery's fold, which has been swelling impressively in recent years, now includes Horowitz, Coulter, Armey, Barbour, Roberts, D'Souza, and even Forbes, whose election-year tome A New Birth of Freedom was released by Regnery in October.

Welcome to the world of Regnery Publishing--lifestyle press for conservatives, preferred printer of presidential hopefuls, and venerable publisher of books for the culture wars. Call it--gracelessly but more accurately--a medium-sized, loosely linked network of conservative types, with few degrees of separation and similar political aims. Just don't call it a conspiracy.

Regnery Publishing's right-leaning corporate philosophy actually goes back to 1947, when the late Henry Regnery, Sr., set out to publish "good books," as he wrote in the company's first catalogue, "wherever we find them." Works by Regnery's friends among the nascent conservative intelligentsia soon followed, including Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind, William F. Buckley, Jr.'s God and Man at Yale, Whittaker Chambers's Witness, and Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative. Henry Regnery's son, Alfred Regnery, who took over in 1986 and moved the company to Washington, D.C., has likewise been both a friend to and publisher of conservative authors. After stints in law school (where he roomed with American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene) and as college director of Young Americans for Freedom, Alfred Regnery was appointed head of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention by Ronald Reagan in 1983. While there, as reported by Murray Waas in The New Republic, he helped run Edwin Meese's ill-fated President's Commission on Pornography; disbursed generous grants to Jerry Falwell's Liberty College, Meese pal George Nicholson, and professional antifeminist Phyllis Schlafly; authored, with then-Assistant Secretary of Education Gary Bauer, a much-ridiculed report called "Chaos in the Public Schools"; and in general cultivated an updated version of his father's network of friends.

But by the time Alfred Regnery took over the family business, the firm had slipped into semi-dormancy. Regnery Publishing's 1993 purchase by newsletter magnate Tom Phillips woke it up. Phillips, one of the Republican National Committee's "Team 100" and a board member of the Claremont Institute, lavished both money and attention on his new acquisition. Leaving Alfred Regnery at the helm, Phillips folded the company into his Eagle Publishing division, an overtly political enterprise with a distinguished stable of conservative media: Human Events, a 56-year-old,ultra-right weekly newspaper; the Evans-Novak Political Report; the 75,000-member Conservative Book Club (founded in 1964 as "America was walking down Lyndon Johnson's path to a socialist 'Great Society'"); and a similar operation called the Christian Family Book Club. But perhaps most significant--given the central role direct mail has played in the conservative resurgence of recent decades--is Eagle's list brokerage operation, which rents out Eagle's own customer lists and those of organizations like Newt Gingrich's GOPAC, Empower America, the Western Journalism Center, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, not to mention Pat Buchanan's American Cause and the Steve Forbes for President campaign.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #63
75. "What's bad for the country is good for Eagle Publishing," gushed Tom Phil
"What's bad for the country is good for Eagle Publishing," gushed Tom Phillips

see my post #74

http://upload.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
62. Commodities Alert: Sugar @ 18.98c/lb - highest since April '81
(Kudos to AnneD for calling this one way early! :yourock: )

March sugar taps high of 18.98c/lb., highest since April '81
11:06 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -

March sugar last up 2.8% at 18.8c/lb in New York
11:06 AM ET Feb. 2, 2006 -
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #62
68. Sugar futures climb to 1981 levels
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?siteid=mktw&g...

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Sugar futures climbed to their highest level in almost 25 years Thursday, with traders betting on increased sugar demand to produce ethanol as an alternative energy source to oil.

"The market has been supported by the production of ethanol," Boyd Cruel, an analyst at Alaron Trading, said in a recent report.

In the State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, U.S. President Bush called for increased research in technologies aimed at reducing the U.S. dependence on oil, including ethanol.

Ethanol is made from sugar and with crude-oil prices recently as high as $69 a barrel -- near the record high of $70.85 from August, alternatives to oil as an energy source have become increasingly popular. See archived story on biofuel.

March sugar tapped 18.98 cents a pound on the New York Board of Trade, the highest intraday futures level since April 1981. The contract was last up 0.58 cent, or 3.1%, at 18.85 cents.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
65. 11:17 EST definitely falling into the crapper
Dow 10,875.99 -77.96 (-0.71%)
Nasdaq 2,285.21 -25.35 (-1.10%)
S&P 500 1,272.77 -9.69 (-0.76%)
10-Yr Bond 4.563 +0.02 (+0.04%)


NYSE Volume 853,545,000
Nasdaq Volume 872,649,000

11:00 am : Major averages spike to their worst levels of the morning, spearheaded by further deterioration in Technology. While a reversal in the PHLX Semi Index (-0.6%) is partly to blame, continued weakness in software (-1.3%) and hardware (-1.4%), led by declines of more than 1.0% in Dow components Microsoft (MSFT 27.69 -0.35) and IBM (IBM 81.09 -0.85), respectively, have been the most influential laggards among the blue chips. DJ30 -43.94 NASDAQ -19.68 SP500 -6.78 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1863/913/744 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1930/1077/474 mln
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. 11:34 EST sliding down the drainpipe
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 10:42 AM by UpInArms
Dow 10,841.89 -112.06 (-1.02%)
Nasdaq 2,280.05 -30.51 (-1.32%)
S&P 500 1,269.53 -12.93 (-1.01%)
10-Yr Bond 4.563 +0.02 (+0.04%)


NYSE Volume 989,666,000
Nasdaq Volume 997,341,000

11:30 am : Market extends its reach into negative territory as Energy now leads this morning's list of worst performing sectors. Continued weakness in crude futures, which have plunged 1.6% to session lows of $65.50/pbl, has prompted investors to lock in some of Energy sector leading 11.7% year-to-date advance. The major averages have also failed to find support near key technical levels.DJ30 -117.02 NASDAQ -31.12 SP500 -13.84 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2020/829/952 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2229/840/706 mln

(added blather)
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OrangeCountyDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
69. Greenspan Painting Update
$105,000

It comes with a DVD also!
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
71. lunchtime soaking
11:48
Dow 10,850.93 -103.02 (-0.94%)
Nasdaq 2,281.68 -28.88 (-1.25%)
S&P 500 1,271.17 -11.29 (-0.88%)

10-Yr Bond 45.59 -0.02 (-0.04%)

NYSE Volume 1,078,098,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,067,930,000

11:30 am : Market extends its reach into negative territory as Energy now leads this morning's list of worst performing sectors. Continued weakness in crude futures, which have plunged 1.6% to session lows of $65.50/pbl, has prompted investors to lock in some of Energy sector leading 11.7% year-to-date advance. The major averages have also failed to find support near key technical levels.DJ30 -117.02 NASDAQ -31.12 SP500 -13.84 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2020/829/952 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2229/840/706 mln
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #71
82. 12:17 EST tourniquet applied?
Dow 10,865.34 -88.61 (-0.81%)
Nasdaq 2,285.90 -24.66 (-1.07%)
S&P 500 1,272.43 -10.03 (-0.78%)

10-Yr Bond 4.543 -0.18 (-0.39%)


NYSE Volume 1,250,355,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,205,546,000

12:00 pm : Market bounces off session lows midday but sellers remain in complete control, as renewed concern about further Fed tightening, mixed earnings reports and the absence of sector leadership overshadow strong monthly retail sales results.

Before the bell, investors paid little heed to a batch of typically uneventful economic data, perhaps sidetracked by this week's largest day of earnings reports and a plethora of same-store sales figures. However, further analysis of Q4 productivity data showing unit labor costs rose 3.5%, the fastest pace in more than a year, has fueled concern that wage inflation may force the Fed's hand to keep tightening monetary policy. Initial jobless claims for unemployment remaining below 300K for a third straight week, confirming that overall labor conditions remain strong and that Friday's Jan. employment data could show a large gain in payrolls of 225-250K, may also be adding concern that more rate hikes are forthcoming. The market, as well as Briefing.com, was expecting that a March 28 rate hike would be the final one; today's data along with Tuesday's ambiguous policy statement, though, leaves the outlook less certain.

With regard to sector weakness, losses across the energy complex have sparked consolidation in everything from explorers to refiners, removing leadership which had lifted Energy to a sector-leading 11.7% so far this year. Downside Q2 guidance from Tyco International (TYC 24.99 -1.11) has helped erase the strength Industrials generated yesterday to help the market rally into the close. Selling pressure across the board, from software to semiconductor, has weighed heavily on Technology while profit-taking in the brokerage space has taken a toll on Financial. Consumer Discretionary has also been in focus, but gift-card redemptions and unusually warm weather resulting in strong retail comps have been no match for those still looking for bargains as a Q4 earnings miss from Comcast (CMCSA 26.96 -1.03) has helped buyers look for the exits. DJ30 -104.86 NASDAQ -29.31 SP500 -11.66 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2101/789/1.12 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2297/815/852 mln
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #82
87. another outpouring
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 11:39 AM by ozymandius
12:38
Dow 10,857.75 -96.20 (-0.88%)
Nasdaq 2,281.91 -28.65 (-1.24%)
S&P 500 1,270.86 -11.60 (-0.90%)

10-Yr Bond 45.55 -0.06 (-0.13%)

NYSE Volume 1,343,081,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,287,229,000

12:30 pm : No change to the prevailing trend as the afternoon session gets underway and the market tries to pare some of its earlier losses, which may have been spurred by earlier speculation surrounding the possible issuance of a specific threat alert. Confirmation from the Dept of Homeland Security that such a rumor is false and that there are no plans to raise the threat level specifically or nationwide, however, has provided temporary relief but losses remain broad-based. DJ30 -89.88 NASDAQ -25.90 SP500 -10.60 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2090/832/1.13 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2254/898/932 mln
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
73. Bush Poll Numbers Falling - Time to Raise the TERRA ALERT COLOR! EEEEKKK!
Terra! Terra! Terra! The Sky is Falling!

U.S. stock losses mount on terrorism fears

excerpt:

Session losses accelerated on speculation the U.S. may be planning to raise its terror alert level, according to some market participants.

<snip>

Some market participants said speculation was swirling on the trading room floor that the U.S. may be preparing to raise its terror alert. The alert currently stands at yellow, which is elevated.

...more with no details...
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #73
76. Oh for crying out loud...
false alarm or preparations?? :tinfoilhat:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. John "Battalion 316" Negroponte is trying to scare us
Al Qaeda still plots attacks on US: Negroponte

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda is still plotting and preparing for attacks on the United States, U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte said on Thursday.

"The organization's core elements still plot and make preparations for terrorist strikes against the homeland and other targets from bases in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area," Negroponte, national director of intelligence, said in prepared testimony to the Senate intelligence committee.


The Scandal of John Negroponte


According to a raft of recently declassified documents that can be found at the National Security Archive website, Negroponte frequently met with the head of the Honduran military, General Gustavo Alvarez. It was General Alvarez who oversaw the work of the notorious Battalion 316, which kidnapped and tortured hundreds of Hondurans and murdered at least 184, according to a prizewinning series by the Baltimore Sun in 1995.

In an October 13, 1983, cable, Negroponte wrote about an airplane trip he had just taken with General Alvarez, whose "commitment to constitutional government" Negroponte saluted. "Alvarez's dedication to democracy is frequently questioned by critics of our policies here," Negroponte wrote. "The critics are motivated either by a stereotype of political life in Honduras as unduly influenced by the military, in disregard of the facts, or out of sheer ignorance of the fact that Alvarez on repeated pubic occasions has pledged his complete loyalty to constitutional rule."

To put Alvarez's "dedication to democracy" in perspective, let's return to the Baltimore Sun's piece on Battalion 316.

"The battalion was organized by Colonel Gustav Alvarez Martinez, commander of the Honduran military, and remained under his authority after he became head of the Honduran armed forces in 1982 with the rank of general," the Sun reported. "Execution orders came down to the battalion from Alvarez" and a subordinate.

One member of Battalion 316, Florencio Caballero, told the Sun about the killing of a 35-year-old teacher and political activist. "By order of Alvarez, to be sure that no one would ever find his body, they took him from Tegucigalpa and stabbed him to death," Caballero said. "Then they cut his body to pieces with a machete and buried the pieces in different places along the road."

Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive notes that Negroponte's own cables and memos do not reflect any concern about these human rights abuses.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #81
88. Viva el Che n/t
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #81
89. Headline: "Negroponte to Wag Genitals at Wall Street"
If this is all they've got, terror alert levels, following the SOTU Address - their internal polls must really be in the shitter.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #76
83. U.S. not currently planning terrorism alert level change
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The United States has no plans at the moment to change the level of its terrorism threat alert, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said on Thursday.

"That's a misinterpretation of whatever was discussed on the Hill," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said. He was responding to a question about market rumors that a speech by intelligence chief John Negroponte speech signaled the terrorism alert level would be raised.

"A this time there are no plans to adjust the terror alert level," Knocke told Reuters.

The dollar fell against the euro and pared gains against the yen on Thursday after Negroponte told a Senate committee that al Qaeda is still plotting and preparing for attacks on the United States.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #83
94. Heh-heh, sort of like Bush having to restate his goals for ME oil imports.
They toss this sh*t out there with hopes it will fly. When it blows back in their face or creates some "unforeseen" response they recant.

Misquoted, misunderstood, misinterpreted, misrepresented, not meant literally, blah, blah, blah.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #83
96. So, Death Squads admitting to the Senate that we're no safer than pre-9/11
interesting.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
91. On this date in history:
http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=237...

excerpt:

In 1998, President Bill Clinton submitted the first balanced federal budget in 29 years.

In 2002, a report requested by the board of directors of the troubled Enron Corporation accused top executives of forcing the company into bankruptcy by, among other things, inflating profits by almost $1 billion.

<snip>

In 2004, the Bush administration said a bipartisan commission would investigate why pre-war intelligence reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction apparently had been wrong. and nothing has happened since

Also in 2004, President George W. Bush asked Congress for $2.4 trillion to fund government programs for fiscal year 2005.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #91
98. History does not exactly repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes.
"Scalito" appointment, Bushco's defense for spygate, the Patriot Act -

In 1933, two days after becoming chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered dissolution of the German Parliament.


Mission Accomplished banner/we'll be greated with flowers -

In 1991, allied forces in the Persian Gulf War declared they were in control in the air and at sea.


Place your favorite promised investigation here

In 2004, the Bush administration said a bipartisan commission would investigate why pre-war intelligence reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction apparently had been wrong.


And for a twist, a prediction for the future of eternal war and occupation of the ME

Also in 2005, in a wide-ranging State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said that U.S. troops would remain in Iraq until Iraqis can provide their own security.

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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
97. Wow! Two days worth of Stock Market Watch Threads on 1st page
of LBN!

:applause: Too good, Marketeers!! :woohoo:

Y'all are going to edumacate the masses to where the buck stops, at this rate! :applause:


:kick: :kick: :kick:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Uhmmmm, that was my boo-boo. Sorry 'bout that...n/t
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OrangeCountyDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #99
100. A True Democrat Always Owns Up To Their Mistakes. nt
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #100
108. Yup, sorry about that.
"Must not sleep. Must warn others" - indymedia.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
102. 1:42 EST bleeding profusely
Dow 10,837.41 -116.54 (-1.06%)
Nasdaq 2,280.54 -30.02 (-1.30%)
S&P 500 1,268.27 -14.19 (-1.11%)

10-Yr Bond 4.559 -0.02 (-0.04%)


NYSE Volume 1,629,508,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,504,733,000

1:30 pm : Despite oil prices languishing near session lows, the absence of leadership in Energy has prevented investors from being able to take advantage. While a 2.6% in crude and an even larger pullback in natural gas futures (-6.4%) certainly bodes well for consumers, the Energy sector's influence on the equity markets, accounting for 9.3% of the S&P 500, holds more weight. DJ30 -90.15 NASDAQ -25.56 SP500 -11.13 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2045/901/1.46 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2291/924/1.15 bln

1:00 pm : Recent recovery efforts have been short-lived as stocks retrace earlier lows. Unfortunately for the bulls, above average volume further reflects the conviction behind today's broad-based decline, as more than 1.0 bln shares have now exchanged hands on the NYSE. While the anticipation of new fund inflows at the beginning of each month is typically cited as a bullish factor for the market, widespread portfolio rebalancing just one month into 2006 appears to be doing just the opposite. DJ30 -99.49 NASDAQ -27.38 SP500 -11.51 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2072/853/1.12 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2292/880/1.04 bln
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
103. Due to Skyhigh Deficits and Overspending on War:Bush seeks emergency $$$$
Bush seeks emergency funds for wars, hurricanes

http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The White House is expected to ask the U.S. Congress for about $70 billion in new emergency funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and $18 billion for the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast, congressional aides said on Thursday.

Congressional staffers were being briefed on the request, but the White House was not expected to send it to Congress for about two weeks, the aides said.

They said the $70 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars also would include some foreign assistance funds. The White House also will seek another $50 billion in emergency funds for the wars in the fiscal 2007 defense spending bill, the aides said.

The White House was to make a formal announcement on the hurricane relief funds shortly when Donald Powell, the coordinator for the federal government's Gulf Coast rebuilding effort, was expected to hold a news conference.

The $18 billion in relief comes on top of $62 billion Congress approved last year in the wake of devastation from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The $70 billion for the wars comes on top of some $330 billion already appropriated for Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House would then seek another $50 billion "bridge fund" to carry it into fiscal 2007 when it likely would seek another emergency supplemental, congressional aides said.

...more...


Bush = FAILURE

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OrangeCountyDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
109. Gold Futures Climb - End Near $577
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 02:21 PM by OrangeCountyDemocrat
Gold futures climb, end near $577
Analysts predict more gains; copper, platinum at records


By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch
Last Update: 2:10 PM ET Feb. 2, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Physical and investment demand drove gold futures to almost $577 an ounce at the close Thursday -- a new 25-year high as analysts continued to tout the likelihood for even higher prices.

The per-ounce target levels of $600 gold and $10 silver are "only a question of when not if," said Peter Grandich, editor of the Grandich Letter.

Even so, he says "a serious correction can occur once the excitement of reaching these levels is exhausted."

Gold for April delivery climbed as high as $579.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange before easing back a bit to close at $576.80, up $2.80. It's trading at levels not seen since January 1981.

"The drop in supply from central banks, added to the new investment demand from the ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and Japanese and investment bank buying, keeps gold driving forward, barely pausing for breath," said Julian Phillips, an analyst at online resource GoldForecaster.com.

"It's not so much an individual crisis that takes gold up, but the number of potential crises that make one possible and trigger others, that makes gold an attractive investment," he explained.

Meanwhile, "pent-up demand waits for any fall in the price of gold to get in, but it's not coming," he said.

Overall, "there has and is an enormous flood of investment demand coming into gold ," said Peter Spina, an analyst at GoldSeek.com.

"Speculators have their eyes wide-open now and sense well the changing environment gold has entered into. They are helping to drive this market even higher right now," he said.

Nervous trade

The situation in Iran regarding its restart of nuclear research has underpinned gold in recent weeks.

"The unfolding petro-nuclear Iran debacle laced with faith-based overtones is making the average investor quite nervous these days," said Jon Nadler, an investment products analyst at bullion dealers Kitco.com.

"A host of bullish factors (Iran, Hamas, oil, inflation, deficits, domestic spying, etc.) is being laid -- news item by news item -- on top of the basic low output/high demand picture of gold," he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency met Thursday to discuss whether to report Iran's nuclear situation to the UN Security Council.

Mohamed el Baradei, the head of the IAEA, said Iran's restart of nuclear research was not yet a crisis, according to BBC News. The meeting finished Thursday without a vote, and will be resumed Friday, BBC News reported.

Elsewhere in the metals market, March silver tacked on 8.2 cents to close at $9.877 an ounce after climbing as high as $9.915 an ounce. The day's high matches Tuesday's high, which was the loftiest level since 1984.

April platinum climbed, adding $9.20 to close at $1,089.30 an ounce. It tapped a high of $1,091, a record on Nymex for front-month contract.

Sister metal palladium saw its March contract finished up $12.90 at $309.50 an ounce, ending at its highest level since April 2004.

March copper jumped 6 cents, or 2.7%, to close at $2.309 a pound after a new record of $2.315.

On the supply side, inventories of copper were unchanged at 11,653 short tons as of late Wednesday, according to Nymex.

Gold inventories were down 53,036 troy ounces at 7.27 million troy ounces. Silver supplies were flat at 124.8 million troy ounces.

Metals indexes fall back

Over in the equity market, shares of metals-mining companies moved mainly lower, prompting the benchmarks that track the sector to decline.

"Equities remain ready to run even higher if the metals allow them to," said Spina. "Otherwise a correction is due."

The Amex Gold Bugs Index (HUI: amex gold bugs index equal-$ weight
Last: 340.99-3.71-1.08%
HUI340.99, -3.71, -1.1%) fell by 2% to 337.94, with a 3.2% fall in shares of Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold (FCX: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
Last: 62.28-2.03-3.16%

FCX62.28, -2.03, -3.2%) to $62.26 leading the weakness among the index components.

The CBOE Gold Index (GOX:
CBOE Gold Index
Last: 145.03-1.75-1.19%

GOX145.03, -1.75, -1.2%) fell to 143.75 and the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index (XAU: phlx gold silver index capital-weight
Last: 151.95-1.95-1.27%

XAU151.95, -1.95, -1.3%) was at 150.55, with each down 2.1%.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
111. 3:23 EST heading for the close with triple-digit losses
Dow 10,847.01 -106.94 (-0.98%)
Nasdaq 2,281.38 -29.18 (-1.26%)
S&P 500 1,270.29 -12.17 (-0.95%)

10-Yr Bond 4.561 0.00 (0.00%)

NYSE Volume 2,157,375,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,947,560,000

3:00 pm : Stocks remain mired in relatively tight trading ranges, as almost every industry continues to sport losses. Retail, though, has recently inched into the plus column as retailers across the spectrum, from specialty apparel to discounters, posted strong results, as many (e.g. FD, GPS, DDS and LTD) also raised guidance. According to ICSC, Jan same-store sales rose 5.4%, far exceeding their 3.5-4.0% forecasts. DJ30 -102.76 NASDAQ -28.52 SP500 -12.08 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2097/907/1.83 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2340/920/1.47 bln

2:30 pm : Broad-based consolidation continues to weigh on the proceedings as a negative bias remains firmly intact. As reflected in the A/D line, decliners on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq still hold a more than 2-to-1 edge over advancers. Strangely, new hi's are outpacing new low's by a more than 3-to-1 margin, however, down volume outpacing up volume by a healthy margin paints a more telling and bearish picture. Adding to today's struggles have been the indices' inability to find support near key technical levels of 10853, 1273, and 2289 on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq, respectively.DJ30 -106.67 NASDAQ -29.24 SP500 -12.69 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2093/908/1.69 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2337/888/1.35 bln
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #111
113. What's been the history of the market when it has wild swings like we see?
Hasn't it been for a downward correction?
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trudyco Donating Member (975 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
112. Dear Ozy, Why is the Nasdaq number Positive? ...
It says in your opening that the Nasdaq when Bush took office was 2757 and now it is 2310 - so how come you say that is +4 something? Is this Neocon statistics or something?

Thanks,
Clueless
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. It was up 4.74 yesterday. Is that what you mean?
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #114
116. That's what it means.
Those numbers are the sum average movement in a trading day. They do not reflect overall average movement since Bush's coronation.
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trudyco Donating Member (975 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #116
123. Thanks! -nt
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
115. Bush calls for lifting cap on special H-1B visas
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?...

MAPLEWOOD, Minn., Feb 2 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Thursday called on Congress to raise the cap on the so-called H-1B visas that allow companies to fill high tech jobs with foreign workers.

"The problem is, is that Congress has limited the number of H-1B visas," Bush said in a speech.

"I think it's a mistake not to encourage more really bright folks who can fill the jobs that are having trouble being filled in America, to limit their number. So I call upon Congress to be realistic and reasonable to raise that cap," he said.

High-tech businesses have pushed Congress to increase the number of such visas, currently capped at 65,000 per year.

...more...


I guess the US has a shortage of "really bright folks" :eyes:
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #115
119. We don't need no education. We just want our thoughts controlled.
(apologies to Roger and David)


;)
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #115
122. THIS ISSUE MAKES ME FURIOUS!!! Shortage of U.S. "bright folks"
Edited on Fri Feb-03-06 12:41 AM by loudsue
THAT is what ALL republicans think! They think Americans are STOOOOPID!! Ya know why? It's because they keep falling for republican BULLSHIT, and keep electing republicans! And THAT is OBVIOUSLY a stupid thing for ANY American to do!!

Americans SHOULD KNOW better than to elect republicans, and the republicans KNOW IT!!!

:kick: :kick: :kick:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
117. quittin' time

Dow 10,851.98 -101.97 (-0.93%)
Nasdaq 2,281.57 -28.99 (-1.25%)
S&P 500 1,270.84 -11.62 (-0.91%)

10-Yr Bond 45.61 0.00 (0.00%)

NYSE Volume 2,565,132,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,265,749,000

4:20 pm : Stocks opened lower, consolidating a modest portion of yesterday's gains amid renewed profit concerns. However, as fears of further Fed tightening mounted and rumors of a possible terrorist threat surfaced, the market deteriorated even further as widespread profit-taking closed virtually every industry to the downside.

Before the market even opened, investors were inundated with earnings, weighing mixed reports against a plethora of strong monthly same-store sales figures and paying little attention to the day's only scheduled economic data. Nonetheless, upon further analysis of a preliminary read on Q4 productivity, which showed a 3.5% rise in unit labor costs - the fastest pace in more than a year - fueled concern that wage inflation may force the Fed to ward off pricing pressures with additional tightening.

Another report which typically goes unnoticed, especially ahead of the monthly job report, was weekly initial claims. An unexpected decline to 273K, checking in below 300K for a third straight week, confirmed that overall labor conditions remain strong and that Friday's Jan. employment data may show a large gain in payrolls of 225-250K, exacerbating worries that more rate hikes are forthcoming. Combined with speculation surrounding the possible issuance of a specific threat alert, which was quickly quashed by the Dept of Homeland Security, and the bulls found little incentive to buy into diminishing hopes that March 28 rate hike will be the Fed's final stand on monetary policy.

With all ten economic sectors closing lower, Technology turned in the worst performance, as losses of more than 1.0% in semiconductor, software, storage and hardware helped erased nearly half of the sector's 3.7% year-to-date gain. Materials Utilities and Energy, three of the other best performing sectors so far this year, also succumbed to broad-based consolidation. Crude oil futures closing down 2.9% on the day weighed on Energy while a pullback in the year's best performing S&P industry group -- steel -- weighed on Materials. Industrials, yesterday's saving grace, was one of today's most influential sectors to lose ground following downside Q2 guidance from Tyco International (TYC 24.77 -1.33).

Even Consumer Discretionary, despite the retail group's ability to hold onto modest gains following stronger than expected monthly comps from more than 70% of the biggest names posting results, finished in negative territory. A Q4 earnings miss from Comcast (CMCSA 27.02 -0.97) and an analyst downgrade on General Motors (GM 23.52 -0.98) overshadowed huge gains from the likes of Starbucks (SBUX 34.40 +3.04), Gap (GPS 18.56 +0.58) and Federated Dept Stores (FD 69.68 +2.61). DJ30 -101.97 NASDAQ -28.99 SP500 -11.62 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2038/1008/2.25 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2333/965/1.90 bln
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
118. 2/5/10 is now 4.59% -4.50%-4.56% Seems a little "inverted" and indeed has
been this way for a while. Anyone for going short in this market?

Feb 2 4:40pm ET Price Change Yield Yld Chng

2 yr 99 19/32 0 4.59 +0.01
5 yr 98 28/32 0 4.50 0.00
10 yr 99 16/32 -1/32 4.56 +0.01
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #118
120. Absolutely. Couldn't get (US-related) shorter. n/t
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 04:39 PM by EuroObserver
ed: gambling a little (most NOT) on another week (or two) in this bubble in other markets, though.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #120
121. BTW, as regards other cultures, check this:
(Tokyo stock exchange will open in a little over an hour) Please learn to understand and respect different cultures:

Japanese editorial excerpts
(Kyodo) _ Selected editorial excerpts from the Japanese press:
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060202/kyodo/d8fh83302.html
PUBLIC'S UNDERSTANDING NEEDED ON IMPERIAL LAW (The Daily Yomiuri as translated from the Yomiuri Shimbun)

Revision of the Imperial House Law to expand the right of succession to the throne is an issue that concerns the Imperial family, which is a repository of the culture and traditions of Japan.

Various efforts must be made so the Japanese people understand the issue, and a consensus can be formed.

A number of lawmakers, including those from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan, and some experts and scholars oppose or take a cautious stance on the revision of the law to allow females and their descendants to ascend the throne.

/more...
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