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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:05 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Friday December 14
Source: du

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Friday December 14, 2007

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 404
LONG DAYS
DAYS SINCE DEMOCRACY DIED (12/12/00) 2523 DAYS
WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 2245 DAYS
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 2206
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 19
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 10
Enron execs conveniently deceased = 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 December 13, 2007

Dow... 13,517.96 +44.06 (+0.33%)
Nasdaq... 2,668.49 -2.65 (-0.10%)
S&P 500... 1,488.41 +1.82 (+0.12%)
Gold future... 804.00 -14.80 (-1.84%)
30-Year Bond 4.61% +0.08 (+1.77%)
10-Yr Bond... 4.17% +0.09 (+2.31%)






GOLD, EURO, YEN, Loonie and Silver



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









Read more: du
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Maggie_May Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Going to be a fun ride today
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the odds the U.S. will fall into a recession are "clearly rising" and he believes economic growth is "getting close to stall speed."

Wall Street was set for a mixed open Friday before retail inflation data that will give further clues on what the Federal Reserve might do after this week's disappointing quarter-point cut, and with jitters on the credit crunch continuing.

I don't see another rate cut in January may be wrong but the big word Inflation is going to be a problem.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
29. Did You Hear Greenspan Blame the Mortgage Crisis on the COLD WAR??!!!
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:55 PM by Demeter
Or were my ears deceiving me?

http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2007/12/12/greenspan_did... /


"It makes for a nice story. Capitalism triumphed all over the world, and then proceeded to eat itself. And the U.S. is no longer the supreme arbiter of its own fate -- it is now just another pawn moved about by far greater forces. And thus, Fed policy can't be blamed for inciting the current turmoil."
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. First he's a dummy. Then he becomes senile. Later he covers his ass.
Somewhere along the way between dumb and senile he became outwardly hostile to the middle class and Roosevelt's policies that helped him along during his younger years.

In short, he's a disgraceful ass.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. UpInArms is okay.
Snow and ice have taken the toll - knocking out power for the past few days. Power in UIA's area probably will not be restored for another week. The UIA family is attempting to rig up alternative power for essential needs. Talk about resourceful!

They have food and drink. But if bad comes to worse - there are some critters nearby that look plump-n-juicy.

A million thanks to Trog for coming to the rescue! :grouphug: It speaks volumes about our regulars who rise to the occasion when plans go awry. I will be here for part of the day since Friday's schedule is light.
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. We do have some fine
resourceful DUers.
Thanks to them for
keeping the report
posted. Glad to
hear UIA is faring
well considering the
snow and the ice.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Market WrapUp: G-10 Central Banks Aim to Cap Libor Rates
BY GARY DORSCH

Central banks from the Group of 10 unveiled a joint plan this week, to pump billions of dollars into the global banking system through a $24 billion currency swap and special lending facilities, aiming to cap the upward pressure on Libor deposit rates, denominated in Euros, sterling, and US dollars. Tensions have been running high in the global money markets since August, since banks are suspected to be saddled with losses of more than half-a-trillion dollars from toxic sub-prime US mortgages.

The sub-prime mortgage crisis has nearly shut the commercial paper market, forcing banks to turn to the Libor market for funds. The Fed will set up a new lending facility that will provide up to $80 billion through January. The ECB will offer two US dollar tenders of up to $20 billion in connection with the Feds action, and the Bank of England (BoE) will offer bigger amounts of funds and widen collateral options. When market forces go terribly wrong, the free-market champions on Wall Street and elsewhere are not too proud to accept a bailout from the government.

-cut-

Central bankers love to print money, and wont acknowledge the obvious link between double-digit growth of the global money supply and the upward pressure on crude oil, agricultural and other commodities. The ECBs Juergen Stark says the ECB now makes a distinction between first-round inflation food and energy, and second-round inflation -- higher wages that compensate workers for higher food and energy costs. That means we will react swiftly if we see that wages are rising too strongly as a result of higher raw materials prices, Stark said on Nov 24th.




There is good reason to believe that the historic rise in food and energy prices, which are soaring to all-time highs, is not a bubble that will eventually burst, as hoped for by central banks, but instead, is the new reality for years to come. Wheat prices are the stand-out example of Ag-flation, more than doubling to record highs this year in the US and Europe with crop pressures, robust exports, red-hot emerging market demand and the bio-fuels revolution serving as major drivers.

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. Today's Reports
8:30 AM CPI Nov
Briefing Forecast 0.7%
Market Expects 0.6%
Prior 0.3%

8:30 AM Core CPI Nov
Briefing Forecast 0.2%
Market Expects 0.2%
Prior 0.2%

9:15 AM Industrial Production Nov
Briefing Forecast 0.3%
Market Expects 0.2%
Prior -0.5%

9:15 AM Capacity Utilization Nov
Briefing Forecast 81.8%
Market Expects 81.7%
Prior 81.7%

http://biz.yahoo.com/c/e.html
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
5.  Oil rises in Asia to mid-$92 a barrel
SINGAPORE - Oil prices rose slightly Friday after declining more than $2 a barrel in the previous session as investors sold futures contracts on expectations of an ongoing price slide.

Oil prices fell steeply overnight after a gain of almost 5 percent on Wednesday. Two causes of the midweek surge in oil prices evaporated Thursday when the U.S. dollar strengthened and Exxon Mobil Corp. said a Texas refinery suffered no production outages from a fire.

On Friday, light, sweet crude for January delivery added 39 cents to $92.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midafternoon in Singapore.

The contract fell $2.14 to settle overnight at $92.25 a barrel. It had jumped $4.37, or 4.9 percent, on Wednesday to its highest close since Nov. 27 on unexpected declines in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Crude supplies fell 700,000 barrels during the week ended Dec. 7, according to a weekly inventory report from the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a 100,000 barrel increase.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/oil_prices




For the United States - Brent Crude is a reliable determiner for oil's impact on gasoline prices. In London, Brent rose to $92.60 a barrel.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
6.  US firms say China costs rising
SHANGHAI, China - China may be losing its competitive advantage, mainly because of rising costs, according to a survey of companies compiled by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Rampant product piracy was another persistent problem highlighted in a report released Friday that was based on a survey of the group's 1,600 corporate members.

mainland, often while moving factories and offices inland to smaller cities where costs are lower.

-cut-

The report also said that the recent spate of product recalls of products ranging from tires to toothpaste due to safety and quality concerns is prompting U.S. businesses to become much more vigilant over how their products are made.

Virtually all the companies surveyed were raising standards, stepping up inspections and requiring more detailed specifications, though few said they would stop using products or materials made in China.

Problems with piracy of technology and products remained more or less unchanged from earlier surveys. Such problems are a perennial headache for both domestic and foreign companies operating in China: U.S. businesses say they lose billions of dollars each year due to the lack of effective enforcement of copyrights, patents and trademarks.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071214/ap_on_bi_ge/china_u...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
8.  Ill., Calif. investigating Countrywide
LOS ANGELES - Attorneys general in California and Illinois are investigating the lending practices of Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender..

The Illinois attorney general launched a probe into the lender's business practices and may expand the investigation to examine how homeowners were approved for mortgages with payments they were unable to afford.

-cut-

The company told the Los Angeles Times it had received subpoenas from both states' attorneys general and that it was cooperating with the investigations.

Countrywide, like many in the mortgage industry, has suffered under the weight of the subprime fallout as thousands of customers default on home loans.

Defaults and subsequent foreclosures have been most pronounced on adjustable-rate mortgages made to borrowers with past credit problems.

-cut-

The lender said its home loan production increased last month by 5 percent from October but dropped 40 percent from the same month last year.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071214/ap_on_bi_ge/country...
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thank god you're back! You wouldn't believe what a mess those other guys...
made of this thread!

(i kid, i kid!)
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Thank you.
I appreciate the sentiment. Yesterday's thread came as quite a shock. Then I checked previous days' threads. (I've been really busy!) That's when I called the UpInArms family to see what's the matter. We had talked about icy conditions over the weekend and how transportation was hampered.

Obviously - there was reason for extreme concern.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Welcome Back Ozy!
I'm so glad to hear UIA is okay! :)


Now it's my turn to go take care of some appointments.

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I am remiss in thanking you.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 09:19 AM by ozymandius
Thank You!!

:yourock: :toast:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. Glad to hear everyone's alright
and very glad you are back, our beloved Ozy. :yourock:

Julie
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Hey! You only get what you pay for...
:grr:


( :rofl: :thumbsup: )
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Morning Marketeers.....
:donut: and lurkers. I am glad to hear UIA ia ok. I knew it had to be bad. I have been up to my eyeball in work in the AM the last 2 days so I have not posted as I usually do. Prag, you earned your stripes this week. Your my hero :headbang: :yourock:

I came in for just a moment and have to leave but good luck at the casinos. I am LMAO that the media is JUST NOW figuring that consumers are having a problem with inflation and the eCONomist can't fake the numbers anymore. What putzs :puke:

Happy hunting and watch out for the bears.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. It was a pleasure...
:hangover:

Even though my lurker cred took a hit and I ran low on ruction cream. :)

Looks like everything is going to work out O.K.


Note to TrogL: I didn't get your PM about yesterday until this morning or else I would have sent you
the 'Template'. These DU Admins have some answering to do! *tsk*

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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Money-Market Rates Fail to Respond to Bank Measures

Money-Market Rates Fail to Respond to Bank Measures (Update4) By Gavin Finch

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Money markets failed to respond for a second day to the biggest effort by central banks in six years to restore confidence in the world financial system.

The euro interbank offered rate banks charge each other for three-month loans stayed near a seven-year high, falling 1 basis point to 4.94 percent, the European Banking Federation said today. That's 94 basis points more than the European Central Bank's benchmark interest rate, close to the highest since 1999. The two- week rate soared a record 80 basis points to 4.95 percent.

Central banks in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Switzerland and the euro region agreed two days ago to promote lending into 2008 in the biggest coordinated drive since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Financial institutions this year announced more than $70 billion of losses linked to subprime mortgages. Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank, said yesterday it will take over seven investment funds and assume $58 billion of debt to avoid forced asset sales.

``The market clearly doesn't believe central banks can do anything about this crisis,'' said Nathalie Fillet, senior interest-rate strategist at BNP Paribas SA in London. ``This is not going to be a magical solution to the problem.''

more...
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=agW...
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
11. Libor Fails to Drop From 7-Year High; Crunch Persists
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:58 AM by DemReadingDU
Libor Fails to Drop From 7-Year High; Crunch Persists (Update7) By Gavin Finch

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The interest rates banks charge each other for short-term loans in Europe failed to decline from the highest levels in seven years a day after central banks joined forces to break a logjam in money markets.

The cost to borrow for three months remained at 4.95 percent, the British Bankers' Association said today. That's 95 basis points, or 0.95 percentage point, more than the European Central Bank's benchmark interest rate, compared with 57 basis points a month ago. The difference averaged 25 basis points in the first half of the year, before losses on securities linked to U.S. subprime mortgages contaminated credit markets.

The highest short-term rates since December 2000 suggest that the first coordinated central bank action since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may not be enough to revive interbank lending. The cost of borrowing dollars fell 7 basis points to 4.99 percent, about half what was anticipated, based on prices of Libor futures contracts.

``It's not going to help us find an exit to this crisis,'' said Cyril Beuzit, head of interest-rate strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London. ``These measures aren't going to address the root cause of the crisis. Banks are still reluctant to lend money to each other because there are serious concerns about potential further bad news.''

more...
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aaP...

Last Updated: December 13, 2007 16:11 EST

edit to add
The difference between the interest banks and the government pay for three-month loans, called the TED spread, rose to 2.21 percentage points yesterday from 1.59 percentage point on Sept. 18, when the Fed began lowering rates.

``It's a very disturbing sign,'' said Christoph Rieger, a fixed-income strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. ``I'm alarmed by the impact this is having, which underscores that the funding difficulties out there are enormous.''




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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
12.  Citi to take $49 bln in SIVs onto balance sheet
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup (C.N) plans to rescue $49 billion of structured investment vehicles in a move that further strains the biggest U.S. banking group's capital levels and may scupper a U.S. government-endorsed SIV bailout plan.

Citi is already wrestling with billions of dollars of assets whose market value has declined, prompting Moody's Investors Service on Thursday to cut the bank's debt ratings. Lower debt ratings often translate to higher borrowing costs.

The Moody's downgrade hit shares in Asian banks and financial groups early on Friday, with MSCI's index of regional financial stocks dropping more than 2 percent.

Citi's decision to move SIV assets to its balance sheet further ties up the bank's capital in assets likely to produce relatively low returns, potentially hampering profitability.

-cut-

One of Pandit's key mandates is to get a handle on the billions of dollars at Citi that have dramatically declined in value and are in many cases risky.

Assets linked to subprime mortgages spurred some $6.5 billion of third-quarter writedowns at Citi, and could spur another $11 billion in the fourth quarter.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071214/bs_nm/citigroup_siv...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. Citigroup's Stock Slips on SIV Plan
Citigroup's Shares Slip After Bank Unveils Plans to Assume Control of SIVs

NEW YORK (AP) -- Citigroup Inc.'s stock slipped almost 2 percent Friday after the bank said it plans to assume control of the seven "structured investment vehicles" it advises to help them repay lenders.

The world's biggest bank late Thursday said it will incorporate seven SIVs with $49 billion in assets onto the company's balance sheet. Some analysts said committing to helping these funds could imperil the bank's already-stretched finances.

Moody's Investors Service, the credit-rating agency, slashed Citigroup's debt and financial strength ratings on Thursday, saying the bank's cash cushion is diminishing just as its profit weakens.

-cut-

CIBC World Markets analyst Meredith Whitney wrote in a client note the SIVs on Citigroup's balance sheet is likely to force Citigroup to raise more cash by selling $100 billion of its assets and cutting its dividend.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071214/citigroup.html
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
14. Gas Prices Spur Consumer Inflation
Surge in Gasoline Prices Pushes Consumer Inflation Up by Largest Amount in More Than 2 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer inflation surged by the largest amount in more than two years in November, led by gasoline prices. The cost of clothing, airline tickets and prescription drugs also jumped.

The Labor Department said its closely watched Consumer Price Index rose 0.8 percent last month, the biggest one-month increase since a 1.2 percent surge in September 2005, when the country was hit by rising energy costs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, also accelerated in November, rising by 0.3 percent, the biggest increase in 10 months.

The 0.8 percent rise in consumer prices was worse than the 0.6 percent advance that economists had expected. With one month to go, inflation in 2007 is rising at an annual rate of 4.2 percent, far above the 2.5 percent increase in 2006.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071214/economy.html
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Inflation in Euro Zone Climbs
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Inflation in the 13 nations that use the euro surged to 3.1 percent in November versus a year earlier, its highest level in more than six years, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat said Friday.

Food prices have not risen so quickly since 2001 to 2002 as bad weather and rising world demand for dairy products push up the cost of milk and cheese.

Eurostat said dairy, transport fuel and heating oil were the main factors pushing prices up from a year ago, revising higher their initial estimate that inflation would hit 3 percent during the month.

Year-on-year inflation in the euro zone was 2.6 percent in October and 2.1 percent in September. It last hit 3.1 percent in May 2001, seven months before the euro came into circulation.

It is now well over a guideline of just under 2 percent that the European Central Bank looks to when it decides whether to raise interest rates to boost borrowing costs.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071214/eu_inflation.html?.v=7
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
15. U.S. Stocks Head for Lower Open
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks headed toward a lower open Friday after a jump in consumer inflation raised concerns about how much freedom the Federal Reserve has left to continue a campaign aimed at loosening tight credit markets.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 0.8 percent in November amid a spike in gasoline prices. The report also found big increases in the cost of clothing, airline tickets and prescription drugs.

The report raises questions about the Fed's plans for stoking the economy. The Fed this week lowered interest rates and announced a plan to align with other key central banks and offer liquidity to pressed lenders around the world. But while it wants to stimulate the U.S. economy and make lending easier among banks wary of faltering debt, the Fed also has to keep a watchful eye on inflation.

The concerns about inflation and the latest flare-up in the credit markets weighed on stock market futures.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 79, or 0.58 percent, to 13,435. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 10.50, or 0.70 percent, to 1,488.00, and Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 11.75, or 0.56 percent, to 2,201.25.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071214/wall_street.html
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
18. average interest rates
30 Year Fixed
this week 5.81%
last week 5.62%

15 Year Fixed
this week 5.39%
last week 5.19%

1 Year ARM
this week 5.57%
last week 5.49%

30 Year Fixed Jumbo
this week 6.71%
last week 6.60%

5/1 ARM
this week 5.62%
last week 5.55%

3/1 ARM
this week 5.51%
last week 5.38%

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
20. 10:15 numbers and blather
Dow 13,445.53 Down 72.43 (0.54%)
Nasdaq 2,654.06 Down 14.43 (0.54%)
S&P 500 1,480.23 Down 8.18 (0.55%)
10-Yr Bond 4.2050% Up 0.0350

NYSE Volume 531,717,880
Nasdaq Volume 316,714,530

10:00 am : A modest recovery effort was short-lived as the major indices continue to show weakness, with all ten sectors in negative territory.

Financials (-1.5%) are the main laggard for the fourth day in a row. All of its groups are in the red, with regional banks (-2.0%) posting the largest loss.

Defensive oriented consumer staples (-0.4%) are outperforming on a relative basis.DJ30 -98.36 NASDAQ -17.74 SP500 -10.92 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1856/539/161 mln

09:40 am : Stocks open a sharply lower note as a Citigroup (C) downgrade, and higher than expected inflation data weigh on the market.

November core CPI was up 0.3%. That was above an expected 0.2% increase and follows five straight increases of 0.2%. Total CPI was up 0.8% as energy prices jumped 5.7%. There may be some offset in energy prices the next couple of months but that won't provide much comfort to a jittery market today.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded the long-term ratings of Citigroup (senior to Aa3 from Aa2) and lowered the Bank Financial Strength Rating of Citibank to B from A-.The downgrade was prompted by Moody's view that Citigroup's capital ratios will remain low. Meanwhile, Citigroup is consolidating $49 bln in SIV assets on its balance sheet to prevent a forced asset sale. DJ30 -109.80 NASDAQ -21.03 SP500 -11.67

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -13.9. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -19.8.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
25. Consumer inflation surges to two-year high
WASHINGTON Consumer inflation surged by the largest amount in more than two years in November, led by gasoline prices. The cost of clothing, airline tickets and prescription drugs also jumped.

The Labor Department said its closely watched Consumer Price Index rose 0.8 percent last month, the biggest one-month increase since a 1.2 percent surge in September 2005, when the country was hit by rising energy costs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rebounded in November, rising by 0.3 percent after having fallen by a sharp 0.7 percent in October. The gain was slightly higher than had been expected.

The improvement last month reflected an increase in output at auto plants which helped lift manufacturing production by 0.4 percent. Output in the mining sector, which includes oil production, was up 1.1 percent while utility output fell by 1.3 percent.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5378557.ht...

Not much here that folks haven't had to deal with already. :eyes:
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
26. Green power would come from oil refinery waste
It almost sounds too good to be true.

Take an oil refinery waste product, turn it into a cleaner-burning fuel for chemical plants, and capture and sell all the greenhouse gases.

That's just what Houston-based Hunton Energy plans to do on a 250-acre site next to Dow Chemical's Freeport complex.

In a 15-year deal with the chemical giant, Hunton will convert a refining byproduct called petroleum coke into a synthetic natural gas that Dow will purchase and use to run a number of processes on its 5,000-acre site in Freeport. The facility will also produce steam for Dow and generate about 400 megawatts of electricity.

Hunton's president, Rocky Sembritzky, said the plant will be able to capture essentially all the carbon dioxide it produces about 8 million tons a year and will sell it to a third party to use in enhanced oil recovery. The company is in negotiations with three companies for the CO2, he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5377434.ht...

This will be the businesses of the future....if they aren't strangled in their infancy.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
27. Banks move to shore up capital ratios
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/apwire/39d...


As credit markets continue to tighten and profit margins decline, some banks have been forced to raise billions of dollars in new cash to maintain what they call their "capital ratios."

Following are some questions and answers about capital ratios and what purpose they serve.

Q: What are capital ratios?

A: Capital ratios measure the money a bank has available compared with the assets its holds, such as commercial loans and residential mortgages. The easiest to calculate is called "tier 1 leverage ratio," which is just a ratio of capital to total assets. If a bank had $100 in assets like loans on its books, and $4 of available cash, it would have a capital ratio of 4 percent.

For example, Citigroup said Thursday it would move seven entities known as "structured investment vehicles" onto its balance sheet.

Citi had a tier 1 capital ratio of 7.3 percent as of Sept. 30, but because it has added assets without adding capital to offset, analysts said Thursday's move would lower its capital ratio by about 0.16 percentage points. Citi has said its ultimate goal is to have a capital ratio of 7.5 percent.
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
28. What's the best hedge against either inflation or recession. I sold my
home in 2006, but have been an anxious mess trying to figure out which investments are best to safeguard the principle and at the same time at least stay up with inflation. Are treasuries good and if so, how do they work? Are TIPs the way to go? Help.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. 'Stagflation' is the name of the beast we face...
I can't really give you any advice as that's frowned upon on Internet Forums... But, I will tell you
a few items.

Protect and recognize your real (in a financial sense) assets. Assets are those things which
have intrinsic value. Reduce your consumption of commodities; Energy, Food, Rent and learn to
distinguish between 'Want' and 'Need'. Avoid recurring charges, even if they're very small. (Cell
phone plans and Cable TeeVee are examples of what I'm talking about. Boy, I'm going to get clobbered
for that one. ;) )

Treasuries are good, but, only in the long term. (I don't know anything about TIPs) There's also a number
of 'Gold Bugs' around who say holding Gold and items like that are a good haven.

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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. There are many ways to go......
but with out knowing the entire situation....you need to seek wise council. We have some wise council and wise guys on this thread...but we would all be the first to tell you seek sound and wise council. How you should invest depends on your circumstances. I highly recommend reading the Total Money Makeover by David Ramsey. I have found him to offer sound ideas on handling money and it has helped Hubby and myself immensely. It is wise to get good advice before you start parting with money.
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Do you have any advice about how to pick an advisor?
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. I would go to.....
www.daveramsey.com


and check out their endorsed local provider list. I have had good luck with them and they are better than that hot tip from your cousin or from a yellow pages ad.He is more about handling your money responsibly.

But I have done the best on those investments that I do due diligence on. Check his book first to get a feel. Listen to his shows on archive. As much as I like him, I part waves with him on several thing, but I know he is not a rip off and he has educated me to avoid some scams. I wouldn't anyone to be ripped off.Do your research.
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #44
47. Thanks I'll look into him.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
31. PBS Frontline: The Wall Street Fix...the long demise of Glass-Steagall
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 01:14 PM by antigop
Interesting history....thought you might find this link informative if you didn't know the history.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstree...

Oct.-Nov. 1999
Congress passes Financial Services Modernization Act

After 12 attempts in 25 years, Congress finally repeals Glass-Steagall, rewarding financial companies for more than 20 years and $300 million worth of lobbying efforts. Supporters hail the change as the long-overdue demise of a Depression-era relic.

On Oct. 21, with the House-Senate conference committee deadlocked after marathon negotiations, the main sticking point is partisan bickering over the bill's effect on the Community Reinvestment Act, which sets rules for lending to poor communities. Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.

On Oct. 22, Weill and John Reed issue a statement congratulating Congress and President Clinton, including 19 administration officials and lawmakers by name. The House and Senate approve a final version of the bill on Nov. 4, and Clinton signs it into law later that month.

Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Fascinating antigop!
Thanks... Great timeline!

Yep, the further we get away from the 'New Deal' the worse it gets.

"Financial Services Modernization Act" :eyes:

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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. And look who the players were...Rubin, Citigroup... n/t
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. More connections....Phil Gramm
From the PBS Frontline piece:

Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.


Phil Gramm joins UBS Warburg
http://money.cnn.com/2002/10/07/news/companies/warburg/...

Senator Phil Gramm will become vice chairman of UBS Warburg, the financial services company said Monday.

The Texas Republican, who is retiring at the end of his current term after 24 years in Congress, will "advise clients on corporate finance issues and strategy," according to a UBS Warburg news release.

"Senator Gramm's experience gained from more than 35 years in academia and government make him uniquely suited to assist our clients to meet the challenges presented by today's business environment," UBS Warburg CEO John Costas said in a release.

Gramm drew criticism for being one of the few legislators who objected to the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform bill, passed this summer and signed into law by President Bush.



UBS and subprime
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/ubs-take-further-...

Swiss banking giant UBS warned Monday that it will write down the value of its subprime mortgage holdings by a further $10 billion, leading to a loss in the fourth quarter and potentially wiping out all its profits for the year.

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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
36.  Credit crunch signals permanent shift in power
... In response to the credit crunch, caused by a prolonged period of freely available, cut-price debt, British, American, European, Canadian and Swiss central banks knew precisely what needed to be done: offer the market even more; pump liquidity into the system; hose it down with readies. In short, welcome back Easy Money.

The message, it seems, is that if inebriates are shivering and shaking, the best and quickest remedy is the re-introduction of Happy Hour. Pull the pints, mix the cocktails, uncork the vino - all drinks a pound.

...

But shares in London fell sharply, especially those of the big banks, as investors inferred that if the Old Lady is prepared to tip yet more grog down the necks of drunks in Threadneedle Street, their condition is probably far worse than had been appreciated.

The Wall Street Journal, the Mammonists' manual, opined: "Sooner or later, investors... will rediscover that easy money has its limitations." In this case, it seems to have taken them less than 24 hours to work it out.

One wonders what fast-growth countries in the Middle East and Asia are making of these extraordinary events. They are, I suspect, laughing with satisfaction, as Old World governments and consumers try in vain to kid themselves that they can continue indefinitely to spend more than they earn, while filling the gap with other people's savings.

Napoleon, who knew a bit about hubris, said: "When China wakes it will shake the world." There can be little doubt that eyes are wide open in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as in neighbouring states, such as Singapore and Malaysia.

In India, too, and the booming Gulf, very few are snoozing. They know that the credit squeeze is not an aberration but a symptom of a permanent shift in financial power to developing states.

...

Asian Tigers can afford to prowl the world in search of industrial and financial prey. So, too, Middle East oil producers, who recognise that they squandered their riches from the energy boom of the 1970s and are determined not to make the same mistake again. Their game plan appears simple: buy blue-chip assets, be patient, collect rewards.

Sovereign wealth funds from the Far East and the Gulf now own an impressive portfolio of stakes in flagship businesses in America, Britain, Japan, Switzerland and elsewhere. In recent weeks, Abu Dhabi bought into Citigroup, China into Barclays, Dubai into Sony, and Singapore into UBS, the Swiss bank. This is the new reality of globalisation.

/... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opin...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
37. Is the American middle class in the cross hairs of a plot to loot our wealth?
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Yep. I don't even need to read the link to know the answer to that one. n/t
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
40. Dollar closes on the front foot
A volatile week on currency markets ended with the dollar on the front foot as it climbed to its highest level in more than a month against the euro and the yen.

Traders said unwinding of bets against the dollar ahead of the year end had combined with robust US economic data to boost the greenback.

Figures on Friday showed US consumer price inflation rose more than expected in November, while on Thursday US retail sales came in above forecast.

Analysts said rising inflationary pressures had trimmed expectations of aggressive interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

The retail sales figures came in for close scrutiny since the Fed had mentioned the potential for a slow down in consumer spending in the statement accompanying its decision to cut US interest rates 25 basis points to 4.5 per cent on Tuesday.

"The dollar looks set to maintain its gains into year end and we continue to look for the greenback to extend its recovery in 2008 as the extreme bearishness towards the US economy fades," said Mitul Kotecha at Calyon. He added that the interest rate market had become too dovish as regards expectations for US monetary policy easing next year. "As interest rate markets reverse course, the dollar should benefit."

The dollar rose 1.3 per cent to $1.4460 against the euro over the week, gained 0.4 per cent to $2.0230 against the pound, climbed 2 per cent to SFr1.1510 against the Swiss franc and 1.3 per cent to Y113.00 against the yen.

/... http://news.yahoo.com/s/ft/20071214/bs_ft/fto1214200715... ;_ylt=Ai1yIZfDur1HLSL7CsCvKLn2ULEF
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. We can thank Forex racketeering practices from ten central banks.
Earlier this week we learned that the U.S. Federal Reserve found a new way to create money: strike an arrangement with your competition. I am too lazy to search for new stories. But the financial blogs were all over this a few days ago.
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spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Do you have links to those blogs
not to the issue in particular, but just generally.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. Here are a few that I like.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
43. closing, battered numbers
Dow 13,339.85 Down 178.11 (1.32%)
Nasdaq 2,635.74 Down 32.75 (1.23%)
S&P 500 1,467.95 Down 20.46 (1.37%)
10-Yr Bond 4.2320% Up 0.0620

NYSE Volume 3,363,071,250
Nasdaq Volume 1,942,039,620

4:25 pm : The stock market ended the week on a negative note as inflation concerns and further losses in the financial sector (-1.8%) weighed on sentiment.

The major indices, in fact, barely saw the light of day. With the exception of a brief uptick into positive territory for the Nasdaq around 11:00 ET, there were minus signs next to the indices throughout the session. In a reflection of the negative bias, the indices closed near their lows for the day.

Data presented in the Consumer Price Index was at the root of the market's weakness today as total CPI and core-CPI, which excludes food and energy, were higher than expected for November. Specifically, total CPI rose 0.8% (consensus 0.6%), the biggest increase since September 2005, while core-CPI rose 0.3% (consensus 0.2%), translating to a year-over-year increase of 2.3%.

The inflation data fueled concerns that the Fed will be reluctant to cut interest rates much from current levels. That notion lent support to the dollar, which surged against a basket of other major currencies. The dollar index (DXY) jumped 1.1% to 77.436.

Separately, Treasury prices fell on the day as the inflation angst deflated fixed income interest. The 10-year note dipped 7 ticks, lifting its yield to 4.23%.

Weakness was seen across-the-board in the stock market with all 10 economic sectors suffering a loss. The materials sector (-1.99%), which got clipped in part by growth concerns and weakness in commodity prices that stemmed from the dollar's strength, suffered the biggest loss.

The most influential laggard, though, remained the financial sector which suffered in the wake of a CNBC report that Merrill Lynch's (MER 56.84, -0.99) fourth quarter write-down could potentially be $4 billion to $6 billion more than expected. The sector was down early, yet that news simply compounded the selling interest.

Citigroup (C 30.70, -0.31) was the story stock of the day in terms of the financial issues. After Thursday's close, the bank announced that it will be shifting $49 billion worth of assets from its SIVs onto its balance sheet. The news was generally regarded as a positive step, yet Citigroup's stock still languished with its peers as Moody's downgraded Citigroup's rating and investors remained skittish about the credit market turmoil.DJ30 -178.11 NASDAQ -32.75 NQ100 -1.1% R2K -2.0% SP400 -1.6% SP500 -20.46 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 2201/784/1.96 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2454/715/1.31 bln
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