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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:47 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday 25 March
Tuesday May 25, 2004

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 244
DAYS SINCE DEMOCRACY DIED (12/12/00) 3 YEARS, 165 DAYS
WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 2 YEARS, 218 DAYS
WHERE ARE SADDAM'S WMD? - DAY 432
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 915
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 18
Recent Acquisitions: Jeff Skilling
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 2
Other Arrests of Execs = 54

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




AT THE CLOSING BELL ON May 24, 2004

Dow... 9,958.43 -8.31 (-0.08%)
Nasdaq... 1,922.98 +10.89 (+0.57%)
S&P 500... 1,095.41 +1.85 (+0.17%)
10-Yr Bond... 4.74% -0.02 (-0.50%)
Gold future... 385.70 +100.80 (+35.38%)

DOW..........................NASDAQ.......................S&P


||


GOLD, EURO, YEN and Dollars


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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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Champ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just wondering
Edited on Tue May-25-04 06:55 AM by Champ
For how long have you been doing this kind of thread and have you missed any days doing these?

On edit: Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. The stock watch has been going for quite awhile.
Some years, in fact. The first stock watch thread was posted in July of 2002. I took over posting the SMW when Radfringe lost her internet connection at work due to misguided bosses. That was a little over a year ago. There have been times when I went out-of-town and turned over the posting duties to someone else for the duration. Otherwise, I have not missed a day. I've been almost late for the opening bell on two occasions. (I recall this was due to technical difficulties.)

And thanks for the compliment! :hi:
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. Props, ozy!
I read this thread every day, but seldom post for fear of confirming my status as a fool. This is the most important thread of any given day here on DU.

Cheers,
:donut:
dbt
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I do the same.
My financial knowledge is very limited but I certainly enjoy reading the posts and learning. And I LOVE each day's cartoon.

Keep up the good work, Ozy!
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #14
31. Thanks to you both.
It means a great deal when compliments are offered. Thank you for joining us on the thread!

:hi:
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
46. Add one more to this list: Me Too!!!
I seldom post on the Market Watch thread, but not a day on DU goes by that I don't read the posts.

I've learned soooo much from our Market Watchers, and have in fact saved some $$ in the market because of it. But, I surely don't have the kind of knowledge that would contribute to the information on the thread....so I seldom post. When I do, it's usually to "kick" or to ask a stupid question!

:loveya: You guys should get some kind of DU medal! :thumbsup:

:yourock: :yourock: :yourock:



:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick:

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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
42. And you've done a wonderful job of it
The thread started when the market was in free-fall in 2002 and just never stopped...but it came close to ending before ozy took over.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. Futures down again, huh? Looks like oversees closed down, I suppose
they are just following again. :shrug:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Good morning 54anickel.
What has been happening with gold? It looks like someone is playing with the market - or that is ONE serious typ-o.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Rather strange movement, especially in light of the weaker euro. I
Edited on Tue May-25-04 07:44 AM by 54anickel
did post something, yesterday or Friday about a lot of expirations coming into play for this week in gold. Certainly seems like someone's playing in the market. Had some big one time moves on INO again yesterday.

edit to add:

Gold under $385/oz on weaker euro

http://www.netassets.co.za/equities/nabrksreps/brokersD...

Gold was trading below US$385 a troy ounce on Monday afternoon due to the weaker euro and yen against the US dollar, with the metal continuing to find support above $380/oz ahead of the next New York Commodity Exchange or Comex option expiry later this week.

snip>

"Gold and the currency markets are both caught in a technical, sideways rut. There is very little direction to the market," a London analyst said.

Sounds like the result of nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide - once bitten twice shy to take the gold plunge

Longer term, the analyst is bullish on the US dollar gold price due to a bearish view on the US dollar. By year-end, he sees a gold price of $415/oz and a euro of $1.28 to the US dollar.

Going into 2005, the analyst sees gold remaining bullish.

Investment bank UBS is also calling for a firmer gold price and has a one-month target of $390/oz and a three-month target of $415/oz.

snip>

However, both metals remain vulnerable to fresh worries about higher US interest rates or a sharp slow-down in Chinese gross domestic production growth.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Piehole effect?
It makes me wonder if President Stupid's jibber-jabber last night may have spooked the markets. How would you feel if, as an overseas marketeer, this man was the leader of your free world?
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. it appears that they feel
like getting rid of dollars

Last trade 90.06 Change -0.42 (-0.46%)
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. I have to admit, I did not bother to "toon" in.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. daily dollar watch
http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DXY0

Last trade 90.12 Change -0.36 (-0.40%)

http://www.fxstreet.com/nou/noticies/afx/noticia.asp?pv...

Forex - Sterling hits month high vs usd after strong gilt auction

LONDON (AFX) - The pound rose across the board amid renewed speculation that foreigners are seeking out UK assets, rekindled by the strong demand for the 3.0 bln gilt auction carried out by the Debt Management Office this morning

The pound hit a month high against the dollar, moving convincingly above 1.80 usd while the euro slipped under 0.67 stg

"The gilt auction today has been a factor in helping to propel sterling higher with a lot of talk about foreign interest," said IDEAglobal.com strategist, Divyang Shah

The bid-to-cover ratio at the auction was strong - at 2.06 times

Of late, speculation has been rife that foreign central banks are starting to stock up their reserves in sterling denominated assets, in turn pushing the UK currency higher

<snip>

Markets now expect a back-to-back rate hike in June. The Bank of England has already raised rates three times since November - each time by a quarter point and the last coming earlier in May. The Council of Mortgage Lenders for one, expect UK rates to end the year at 5.25 pct from 4.25 pct currently. Separately, news that UK business investment in the first quarter hit its highest level since the third quarter of 2001, at 28.918 bln stg, also helped the pound at the margins

<snip>

Elsewhere, the dollar edged lower against leading currencies, still unable to shake off the overnight damage from rocketing oil prices, with the euro reaching a near three week high. Analysts attributed the dollar's weakness to renewed strength in benchmark crude oil in New York and the failure of the Dow Jones index to close above the psychologically important 10,000 level overnight along with ongoing troubles in Iraq. It may take the US personal consumption data on Friday and labour market report next week to see the dollar rise, they added

After a brief reprieve, West Texas light sweet crude jumped to an all-time closing high of 41.72 usd a barrel, with OPEC's indecision over hiking output quotas putting markets on edge

Saudi Arabia's unilateral decision to hike output had earlier seen oil prices ease to just under 40 usd. The euro got a small boost of its own from a higher than expected reading in the key German barometer of business confidence, the Ifo index.

...more...


http://www.fxstreet.com/nou/noticies/afx/noticia.asp?pv...

Ldn FX: Stg Rises Vs Dlr, Euro As Key Resistance Broken

LONDON, May 25 (MktNews) - Sterling moved higher against the dollar and euro in European morning trade Tuesday as key technical resistance levels were broken and the dollar softened against the other major currencies.

<snip>

- Highs from early May were surpassed at $1.8035 and further offers
around $1.8055/60 were tested, which was the level of a projected
resistance line from 17 May.

<snip>

ON THE US AGENDA:

US data starts with the ICSC-UBS store sales for the May 22 week at 1145GMT and the Redbook for the same week at 1255GMT but the main releases are the Conference Board consumer confidence for May and National Association of Realtors existing home sales for April at 1400GMT.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index is expected to rise slightly to a reading of 94.0 in May, as the improved labour market situation was partially offset by higher gasoline prices and talk of Fed rate hikes. The early-May Michigan index was unchanged from the April final.

Existing home sales is expected to fall to a 6.45 million annual rate in April after rising to a near record pace in March. As rates rise, sales should continue to slow.

...more...


Have a Great Day Marketeers! :hi:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
7. Global: What Could We Be Missing?
http://www.morganstanley.com/GEFdata/digests/20040524-m...

snip>
The more this debate goes on, the more it sounds precisely like that of 1994. Back then, the US economy was just coming out of its first jobless recovery, a desperate Fed was attempting to normalize monetary policy after a then extraordinary accommodation, the dollar was falling, and industrial commodity prices were surging at a 30% annual rate. Sound familiar? It should it fits todays script to a tee. But heres where it gets interesting for financial markets: Back then, a full-blown inflation scare the scenario that some fear we could be missing also led to the worst carnage in the modern history of the bond market. Yields on 10-year Treasuries soared by nearly 225 bp from 5.75% in January 1994 to 7.96% in November 1994. If that happens again and the recent back-up in 10-year yields has already matched about half the sell-off that occurred a decade ago a more broadly based shock in financial markets could be a distinct possibility.

Ironically, of course, it turned out that the inflation scare of a decade ago was a false alarm. The core CPI, which was running at a 2.9% rate in early 1994, ticked up to 3.1% in the spring of 1995 before trending decisively lower toward 2.25% in late 1997. My guess is thats exactly whats in the cards again an inflation scare that might intensify a bit further but one that ultimately turns out to be another false alarm. The reason a total absence of labor cost pressures. Labor costs basically define inflation in the US. Thats because worker compensation accounts for about 75% of total business production expenses, about ten times the share going to materials, or commodity, inputs. In retrospect, it was the extraordinary containment of labor costs that kept US inflation at bay in the mid-1990s; gains in unit labor costs averaged only about 1% per annum in 199395. Today the comparison is even more extraordinary: Unit labor costs have, in fact, been declining on a year-over-year basis since early 2002 not increasing as was the case a decade ago and, as of 1Q04, were still falling at a 1.3% Y-o-Y rate.

As I see the world, labor cost control is likely to remain an overriding characteristic of the macro climate for years to come. The reason: Lacking in meaningful pricing leverage, high-cost producers in countries like the US, Japan, and Europe will continue to fixate on cost cutting. The slight uplift in cyclical pricing leverage to a 2.25% core inflation rate that Dick Berner and others envision for the US over the next couple of years hardly doesnt diminish that pressure at all. It hardly provides companies with the degree of pricing power they have enjoyed at comparable stages of past cycles. Its a real stretch, in my view, to even call this pricing leverage. For me, thats the bottom line on the great inflation debate: The imperatives of cost control are likely to remain unrelenting. In the absence of any meaningful build-up in labor cost pressures, inflation scares are likely to come and go, but inflation, itself, is unlikely to budge.

At the end of the day, that takes us to the biggest difference between today and 1994 the globalization of inflation and cost control. A decade ago, the world economy was not nearly as open and integrated as it is today. Since 1994, world trade volumes have increased by 42%, well in excess of the 29% increase in world output. But those numbers mask the sea-change in the fabric of globalization highlighted by rapidly expanding outsourcing platforms in tradable goods (i.e., China) and now in what we used to call nontradables (i.e., India). And the Internet has transformed the means of cross-border economic integration providing an IT-enabled connectivity that truly revolutionizes the logistics of supply-chain management in global manufacturing but, more importantly, offers a new conduit for the dissemination of the knowledge-based output of offshore services workers. As a result, labor cost control is no longer driven by conditions in domestic labor markets, alone. The global labor arbitrage defines a new context for cost control in an increasingly interconnected world.

more...


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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. these f***tits just piss me off
Back then, the US economy was just coming out of its first jobless recovery, a desperate Fed was attempting to normalize monetary policy after a then extraordinary accommodation, the dollar was falling, and industrial commodity prices were surging at a 30% annual rate. Sound familiar?

Do they need a clue? Could it be Meanspin and Bush?

What in the world are they smoking or taking or what is in their water jug?

Things got "better" miraculously in 1997?

OMFG :puke:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Well, it certainly does not give me any warm, fuzzy feelings about
finding a decent paying job anytime soon. Hell, I'd settle for a so-so paying job! I've got to tell you, it sucks out there right now.

For IT positions, there are 300-500 applicants for nearly every job posting. Sister-in-law was getting apps from people with BAs and MBAs along with other "over qualifications" for an Administrative Assistant position!

I tried to get into the new Home Depot opening up nearby, figured I'd at least make out on the employee discount with all the projects we had planned for the old homestead (before I got the axe). Nope, don't want me.

Seems no one will hire you if you are considered over qualified and for the jobs that you do qualify for they have the cream of the crop to pick from. I'm in that "over the hill" demographic group.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. you describe
Oklahoma in the '80s

Hmmm... oh, that was RayGun! and this thing is RayGun on steroids.

:grr:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. That must have been the late 80's, right?
Ronnie pretty much pissed away all that painful cleansing of the system Volcker put us thru with his supply-side voo-doo crap-o-la. Raygun should have left the system along, it was on track to recover after cleaning out the inflation from the previous accommodative monetary policies.

Seems ever since Raygun, no one wants to face the reality of cycles in fiscal policies. They seem to believe in this Goldilocks idea of just right so no one ever has to pay the piper again.
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wildmanj Donating Member (611 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
35. Jobs
The general conclusion is that wealth and power have never been long permanent in any place. . . .and that they travel over the face of the earth, something like a caravan of merchants. On their arrival everything is found green and fresh; while they remain, all is bustle and abundance, and when gone, all is left trampled down, barren, and bare. William Playfair--An Enquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. (1805)

Now the question I would like to ask: Is our ECONOMIC CARCASS not just about eaten? As I stand outside looking in the only thing that generates new revenues is to make something and ADD VALUE to it and sell it for a profit---What does American still make, and when push comes to shove can we ask all the other countries of the world to send us things to make war on them with?
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. great comments and insightful questions
The questions really answer themselves.

I once heard Jesse Jackson, Sr. speak (1991, I believe). During which he posed the same questions that you just did. He named Curtis Mathis (the former and last American TV manufacturer) as having just gone out of business. That GE toaster oven does not even come from America anymore. "We no longer make radios, VCRs and the like. So what are we making but implememts of war: things for which there is no market?"

Only I argue that there is a market for the destruction our domestic production. We have created that market. However to support our payments to the weapons industries, we sell bonds to overseas banks. They finance our wars. But for how long?

This represents a huge shift in wealth distribution. Those who directly profit from the wars our government starts are often rotated through governmental posts that create policy that inherently leads to another war. Cyclical violence leads to cyclical profit. This may be the closest modern minds have ever come to creating a perpetual motion mechanism.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for that 'toon!
This is the first day I've started with a laugh in a very long time.

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
15. Dick Grasso Is Dangerous
http://www.forbes.com/work/2004/03/05/cx_da_0305topnews...

excerpt:

"Mr. Grasso has no intention of returning any portion of his compensation to the Exchange. If the Exchange believes it has a valid claim, it should file it, rather than conducting a campaign through the press and intermediaries in an attempt to pressure Mr. Grasso," Sullivan wrote.At this point, Grasso is a very dangerous individual because he has nothing to lose-- except of course the $140 million. He has already lost his job and there is no indication he is about to take another. If SEC or the New York Attorney General does go after him, he could wreak havoc-- much like Oliver North threatened to do-- by exposing dirty laundry all over Wall Street.

The subpoenas were sent to Wall Street honchos like Bear Stearns' (nyse: BSC - news - people ) James Cayne, Morgan Stanley's (nyse: MWD - news - people ) Philip Purcell and Lehman Brothers' (nyse: LEH - news - people ) Richard Fuld, as well to ex-Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people ) CEO Gerald Levin. Home Depot (nyse: HD - news - people ) Director and key Grasso ally Kenneth Langone, who just sold his seat on the NYSE, will also come under scrutiny as he sat on the NYSE compensation committee. So would Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news - people ) CEO Henry M. Paulson Jr., former boss of current NYSE president John Thain.

Spitzer is also said to be considering a lawsuit against the directors who approved Grasso's deal.

But whether the directors are backing the suit or the defendants in it, Grasso's lawyers would likely seek to question them about the meaning of "excessive" and what they consider proper disclosure of their own pay packages. This would get ugly, and, for that reason, look for Spitzer and the SEC to drop it.

Sullivan has worked this tactic, which is legitimate, before, and with much more at stake. After Oliver North was indicted in March 1988, along with many others, Sullivan succeeded in getting many of the charges dismissed on the grounds that the government would not or could not comply with his discovery demands. He also represented North during his Congressional testimony. After North was found guilty on three counts, mostly involving obstruction of justice, Sullivan successfully appealed on the ground that his trial might have been impermissibly tainted by the use of congressional testimony, for which North had received immunity.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Aww, come on Sptizer! Go for it! Let's get this excessive pay package
debate out in the open and deal with it once in for all. Maybe that's where the missing labor inflation is ending up - HA! :evilgrin:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
18. Futures have taken a turn to the better - here's a bit o' blather
8:45AM: S&P futures vs fair value: -1.1. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.5. Off their earlier lows, the futures indications continue to trade below fair value and point to a lower open in the cash market. There are no economic reports in the pre-open session, however the Consumer Confidence report for May and the Existing Home Sales report for April will be reported at 10ET.

8:00AM: S&P futures vs fair value: -1.8. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.5. The futures market is trading lower on the heels of yesterday's failed rally attempt. Contributing to the slight negative bias is lackluster trade in overseas markets, where the European DAX is down 1.1% and the Asian Nikkei closed down 1.3%. Also pressuring trade are comments by OPEC ministers indicating oil prices may remain above $30 a barrel, rekindling concern that higher energy costs will crimp corporate profits and limit consumer spending.

6:32AM: S&P futures vs fair value: -3.5. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.0.

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
20. Personal bankruptcies in U.S. increase 2.8%
http://www.freep.com/money/business/bankrupt24e_2004052...

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Personal bankruptcies rose 2.8 percent in the year ending March 31, continuing the trend of recent years but marking a more moderate increase than in earlier months, data released Friday show.

New personal bankruptcy filings rose to 1,618,062 from 1,573,720 in the 12 months ending March 31, 2003, according to the data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

"Consumer bankruptcies continued their upward arc, though at a slower pace to start this year," said Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a group of bankruptcy judges, lawyers and other experts. "The continued decline in business bankruptcies reflects an improved economic climate for business, aided by sustained low interest rates."

snip>

Legislation making it harder for consumers to erase credit-card and other debts in bankruptcy court won speedy, overwhelming House approval in March 2003 and was endorsed by the White House. But the Senate has yet to act.

Someone had a bit of forethought on this issue :evilgrin:

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
22. For some, minimum wage brings maximum misery
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/25864...

Leading the charge to raise the federal minimum wage is U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. The Republican Senate majority so far has been opposed to Kennedy's most recent attempt, Kennedy spokesman Jim Manley said.

snip>

"The Republicans in the House are opposed to it, and the president is not in support of it either," said Josh Mason, policy director of the Working Families Party, a community- and labor-backed political party based in Brooklyn.

"As governor of Texas, Bush was responsible for the lowest minimum wage in the country. His record is not somebody who's likely to be pushing this issue."

For many, the issue is not about politics.

It's about fairness.

"We are the richest country in the world," said Beth Shulman, author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans.

No one, she said, can live on $10,000 a year.

snip>

The issue is becoming even more pivotal because job growth in this country home health aides, food preparation workers, security guards, cashiers, teachers' assistants and nursing aides are some of the lowest-paying, according to a February article in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Monthly Labor Review, which projected job growth from 2002 to 2012.

Author Shulman describes this as a "hollowing out of the middle," where companies such as Wal-Mart Stores pay the minimum while expecting taxpayers to take up the slack in the form of food stamps, Medicaid and other programs for impoverished Americans.

"Corporations used to look at themselves as part of a community," she said.

"I think the ethic has changed."

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
23. Derivatives Wild Card
http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_04/laird052404.htm...

In poker, a wild card can be used to change the rules and introduce excitement. In finance, derivatives do the same thing.

While studying derivatives, I have noticed that even the major financial authorities comment that derivatives are an unknown factor. And the derivatives experts agree the risks are huge, and in many respects indefinable. Which brings me to my point, that derivatives are a new wild card in international banking and finance.

What this means is that nobody knows when or how the derivatives balloon will pop, or what effects it will have. Even in the derivatives field itself it is recognized that there are only a few experts who truly understand the instruments, and that many institutions are lacking in a comprehensive view of the very instruments they are betting 197 trillion dollars on. One thing is certain though, if the derivatives wild card comes into play, systemic monetary collapse is in the cards. We don't know how the hand will be dealt, but the DERIVATIVES WILD CARD will probably be in the hand.

I cannot believe that with $197 trillion in derivatives outstanding as of Dec 2003 (BIS), that there aren't large bad bets made. I cannot believe that they have completely offset their hedges calculating all of the party risks, systemic risks, liquidity risks. I don't believe that the derivatives models are reliable in identifying all the interrelated risks, nor can they be.

The creators and users of derivatives will have us to believe that the instruments are mathematically stable, that they are offset by risk analysis, governed by scientific models. That they are predictable, in fact so predictable that the derivatives users can take $4 billion, and leverage it to over a trillion dollars of notional amounts in derivatives and get away with it. They say that is safe. Wrong!

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. As margin debt builds, investors should be wary
http://www.investors.com/breakingnews.asp?journalid=213...

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Just a few short years after highly leveraged portfolios caused the fiscal ruin of so many unsuspecting investors, margin debt is on the rise again. There's reason to believe, however, that this time around will be different.

Maybe.

Of course, never underestimate the power of greed and the thirst to recoup the steep losses of the market implosion of yesteryear. But the brokerage industry and its clients seem focused on avoiding the painful traps of 2000.

The climate is currently ripe for margin, and investors are certainly taking notice. Interest rates have remained extremely low, although the Federal Reserve maintains that could be changing. And the stock market, until the past few weeks, has enjoyed a steady rally.

"The rise in margin debt suggests that investors have become less risk averse or (more likely) they have become more confident that the downside risk in this market is, at worst, moderate," said Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

more...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #24
39. Loved this quote: "head-in-the-ground, neo-conservative Repug" (Investor)
"Any individual investor (with rare exception) contemplating margin investing at this time is either a head-in-the-ground, neo-conservative Republican or someone needing to go to a 12-step compulsive gambling program," Boschert said."

:D Well, there are lots of those around pushing and trading...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
25. Mortgage Lenders Getting More Creative
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=509&nci...

snip>
To generate new business, lenders are getting even more creative and according to some observers, pushing the envelope too far.

Companies are offering loans that allow borrowers to skip a payment while those that require only interest payments are also growing in popularity.

These products are certainly appealing, especially to those who are cash-strapped, but critics worry that homeowners may be misled by the benefits.

"Letting people forgo a payment on their mortgage is outright encouraging them to be undisciplined," said Gary Schatsky, a financial adviser and former chairman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. "That's very alarming to me, especially given the fact that we are dealing with something as important as a mortgage."

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest mortgage finance company, backs this type of loan in a pilot program called PaymentPower.

more...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #25
41. Skipping Payment is called "Payment Power?" WTF...sounds like
Bush Speak...."Clear Skies"..."Leave no Child Behind."

The damned Bush virus is infecting everything... :nuke:
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
26. Not a cheerful way to start the day (9:44)
Dow 9,937.07 -21.36 (-0.21%)
Nasdaq 1,918.26 -4.72 (-0.25%)
S&P 500 1,092.45 -2.96 (-0.27%)
10-Yr Bond 4.723% -0.017
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Uh oh, ran into one of the other triplets again!
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Bound to happen now and again!
Note that there was a bit of bounce between the two postings...you caught it at the low point. Now it's coming up a tad more..

Dow 9,941.47 -16.96 (-0.17%)
Nasdaq 1,921.15 -1.83 (-0.10%)
S&P 500 1,093.61 -1.80 (-0.16%)
10-Yr Bond 4.726% -0.014
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
27. 9:41 market numbers and good-bye for now!
Dow 9,924.01 -34.42 (-0.35%)
Nasdaq 1,917.10 -5.88 (-0.31%)
S&P 500 1,091.81 -3.60 (-0.33%)

10-yr Bond 4.724% -0.016
30-yr Bond 5.428% -0.008


NYSE Volume 56,160,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,379,384,000


Have a great day at the Market! I'll be away most of the day, but will try to check back later this afternoon. :hi:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. Bye 54anickel.
Have a great day!

:hi:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
32. I almost forgot! WrapUp by Jim Willie
KEY FINANCIAL EFFECTS OVERLOOKED
FLAWED ECONOMIC METHODS, Part 1


Economic analysis is just plain hard as heck. This is the first in a series of essays intended to expose why economic forecasts are so unbelievably poor or quality challenged. Today a personal touch will be shared from my experiences and contacts. This is not an exact science, but rather a social science, one which contains an element of art. The craft has sadly become more complex by financial market factors and subverted by political motives. The topic explored is key financial effects, which are commonly overlooked in economic analysis. The collective result is steady large misses in forecasts. The degree of forecast error at the national level is two orders of magnitude worse than anything seen personally in the corporate world. The task is difficult, but the job done is far worse than it should be, since corrupted by vested interests. All too often, forecasts are nothing more than lazy extensions through the rear view mirror into the future, straight-line forecasts to extend into future months with no treatment or expectation of change or turns or anything unusual. Try that when driving a car and you run off the road. Economists protect some of the worst statisticians on the planet, a claim I make personally with loud voice and stern conviction. They have tarnished the image of my craft.

This essay is an attempt to begin the process of getting specific with my criticism, from a statistical analyst perspective. Personal past email to me has inquired about my regular insults directed at economists, to which a response is offered. The language will be kept clear to the layman. No mention of R-squared levels, beta coefficients, multi-collinearity, normality violations, correlated error, factor loads, orthogonal experimental designs, imbalanced designs, cross-elasticity, biased estimates, or autoregressive oscillations. Sorry, I got carried away, but nothing like what we see in govt statistical evidence to strain reality and truth in reporting. Economists get away with murder, as they soften the disaster underway, encourage consumers to press onward, and urge foreigners to keep the credit supply flowing. Promoting a constructive inflationary policy by an economist is equivalent to denying the existence of gravity by a physicist, utterly insane. Reality first gets twisted, then things get crushed from unexpected falls. Blame is laid elsewhere; the public remains unaware. The rich get richer; the poor get poorer. The bond market shows signs of losing faith in the Greenspan Fed, perhaps centered on the arrival of inflation at precisely the time he spoke repeatedly about its absence. Fed statements bear no connection to the reality of quality statistical forecasts.

-cut-

OVERLOOKED FINANCIAL EFFECTS

Most economic forecast models include the usual suspects like interest rates, disposable income, business investment, tax rates, federal budgets, household spending, and much more. My personal professional complaint is that many economic models are chock full of incestuous factors. They all depend on each other to such an extent that analysts insist on having several simultaneous models being estimated, all inter-related, some causal, some effectual. The statistical consequences are unstable estimates and forecasts from structural equations of questionable value. Small changes in the underlying factors result in large changes in the forecasts, yielding doubt to the overall meaningfulness of results. In human reproduction, we see the same results with incest. No wonder. Another complaint has to do with NOT incorporating enough external factors which, in our increasingly important financial sector environment, have turned out to be very important indeed, if not dominant. Each of the following is a topic by itself, so discussion will be brief.

-cut-

Minefield of bank derivatives threatens financial viability

The historical road is littered with the damage of derivative risks gone bad. Proctor & Gamble, Bank One, PNCBank, Orange County, and others lead the list. The effect of failed hedge strategies is enormous. What used to be the prudent offload of risk from currency risk or interest rate risk or metal price risk or grain price risk has unfortunately turned into a casino boardroom risk whose quantification is difficult. A hilarious event occurred in 2000. Ashanti Goldfields hired an accounting firm in order to determine their balance sheet risk from hedge book activity. Their forward sales hedge program had gone amok. In a letter to shareholders, Buffett tells of the difficulties of exiting the derivatives business that Berkshire Hathaway inherited in his 1998 purchase of General RE. After all this time, and diligent effort to remove what he calls financial sewage from the balance sheets, he has been frustrated by the stubborn effects of derivatives. In five years, he has exited two thirds of 23 thousand derivative tickets and reduced counter-parties by half. BW has booked pre-tax losses in the last two years of $270 million, even under a measured pace of liquidations. The pace was kept gradual because he did not trust the accounting, was unsure his portfolio could absorb the risk, and could not afford to ignore new opportunities. He has recently concluded that the explosion in derivatives contracts may have created serious systemic risks to our nation. Given the extraordinary bond speculation, rising rates threaten derivatives, of which bonds are the primary vehicle, a systemic risk exists which Buffet recognizes. Rising interest rates, along with Greenspan comments on bond speculation, have heightened attention on this frightening subject. Are unwound hedgebook risk factors in economic forecast models? Doubt it.

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
33. Question: what's up with the charts? Answer: new charts.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Ah! Okay, then!
And at 10:17, the markets are trying to rise


Dow 9,943.89 -14.54 (-0.15%)
Nasdaq 1,919.62 -3.36 (-0.17%)
S&P 500 1,093.65 -1.76 (-0.16%)
10-Yr Bond 4.715% -0.025
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. These are not as sleek as the old charts.
But I need to replace the charts in the original SMW body to reflect current numbers. Are there any other charts with an updating feature?
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
48. Is there a $CAN png?
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. You Follow This Thread Every Weekday Too?
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:19 PM by Don_G
The URL must have changed...it was updating every time I access the thread until last week.

Good work Marketeers! I appreciate the info and I only miss this thread when my WinDoze Dell is down.

On Edit: I just wish I knew enough business and psychology to contribute to this forum.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. My parents have stock etc.
and I worry about their investment decisions.

I'm a member of the Liberal party, which is heavy on economic thought - our current Prime Minister was Minister of Finance and responsible for recovering Canada's economy. It's now the boy wonder of the G8.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
36. 10:27 and in the black
Dow 9,962.41 +3.98 (+0.04%)
Nasdaq 1,923.08 +0.10 (+0.01%)
S&P 500 1,096.33 +0.92 (+0.08%)
10-Yr Bond 4.711% -0.029
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Care for some blather with those numbers?
Stocks climb but Altria weighs on Dow
Hopes for higher oil production fades; oil at all-time high


NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - U.S. stocks were broadly higher Monday though steep losses in Altria Group pressured blue chips.

Stocks closed well off their early highs, however, as OPEC deferred a decision on increasing supply, offsetting hopes for higher production. Saudi Arabia had said earlier it would increase oil production by up to 2 million barrels a day starting in June if the market demands it. See full story.

The benchmark crude contract closed up $1.79 at an all-time closing high of $41.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Unleaded gasoline futures also closed at an all-time high on the Nymex. The June contract for gasoline ended at $1.4578 a gallon, up 4.1 cents, or 2.9 percent.

story
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
40. 10:30 blather and 10:49 readings
10:30AM: The market has lifted to new session highs, with the major averages advancing into positive territory, albeit only fractionally... The economic data reported at 10ET had little effect on the indices... Specifically, the Consumer Confidence report rose to 93.2 in May (consensus 94.0) from a revised 93.0 in April... The index has held in a narrow range since November, despite vastly improved labor demand and broader-based economic growth... However, keep in mind that this report says little about consumer spending trends...
Separately, the Existing Home Sales report rose 2.5% to 6.64 mln (consensus 6.45 mln), which was just 0.6% below the record high set in September, 2003...

Dow 9,980.93 +22.50 (+0.23%)
Nasdaq 1,925.45 +2.47 (+0.13%)
S&P 500 1,097.11 +1.70 (+0.16%)
10-Yr Bond 4.718% -0.022
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ze_dscherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
44. Consumer Confidence Rises on Job Outlook
Hi everyone! :hi:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment edged up in May, but not as much as expected, although a better outlook for jobs and the economy offset worries over high oil prices and unrest in Iraq, a report showed on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, a private forecasting body, said its index of consumer confidence rose to 93.2 in May from a revised 93.0 in April. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 93.50.

"The recent upturn in the present situation index is being spurred by strong employment gains in March and April," said Lynn Franco, director of the Board's consumer research center, in a statement.

"This has made consumers more positive about short-term prospects in the months ahead. The pick-up in the job market is offsetting the impact of rising gas prices and escalating tensions overseas," she said.

http://news.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=business...

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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
45. Noon time sideways crawl
Dow 9,975.67 +17.24 (+0.17%)
Nasdaq 1,925.80 +2.82 (+0.15%)
S&P 500 1,097.21 +1.80 (+0.16%)
10-Yr Bond 4.724% -0.016

11:25AM: Volume remains very weak, with just 475 shares traded on the NYSE so far...that is a bit ahead of yesterday's pace when a total of just 1.2 billion shares traded on the day...in a related development of potential interest to our readers, Schwab (SCH 9.04 -0.51) today announced it is cutting commissions on stock trades in a bid to attract clients and stimulate trades...Schwab is on the most actives list today...online brokers overall are adversely affecting by the slow volume and tame market action amidst intense competition

http://finance.yahoo.com/mo
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #45
49. 12:43 and there was buying at lunchtime (side of blather to go)
Not unusual on a low volume day (altho the sideways crawl is more common)
Dow 10,006.98 +48.55 (+0.49%)
Nasdaq 1,935.81 +12.83 (+0.67%)
S&P 500 1,101.04 +5.63 (+0.51%)
10-Yr Bond 4.716% -0.024

12:25PM: Markets trend higher on no particular news...SOX semiconductor index (SOX ) has been rallying since early morning...advancing issues are well ahead of declining issues, as was the case yesterday as well, reflecting broad strength even though volume remains light...Dow is back above 10,000
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Ah, I KNEW they'd find some news to pin the rise on!!
1:00PM: Oil futures have fallen another $0.30 or so and are now down about $0.70 on the day with the July light crude contract at $41.02...that has given stocks a boost in the past hour...
:party:
Dow 10,051.32 +92.89 (+0.93%)
Nasdaq 1,941.79 +18.81 (+0.98%)
S&P 500 1,105.45 +10.04 (+0.92%)
10-Yr Bond 4.732% -0.008
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
47. I must run folks.
My workday away from the computer is starting. Have a great day at the Casino.

BTW - did anyone mention "sucker rally" in the context of yesterday's stock market performance? Just wondering.

Ozy :hi:
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
51. Stores: Shrek ate our sales
Retail trade group blames animated film's record box-office performance for drop in weekly sales.
May 25, 2004: 12:41 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A retail trade group is blaming the hit movie "Shrek 2" for eating into retail sales last week.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said its weekly sales report showed retail sales fell 0.5 percent in the week ended May 22, compared to the previous week, which saw a fall of 0.8 percent.

Compared with the same week a year ago, sales rose 5.5 percent, but that was that was down from the 6.2 percent growth pace of the preceding week.
http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/25/news/economy/weeklysale...

No, dears...he's an ogre, not a dog! :eyes:
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
52. one-two-three
Lunch hour rally in usual three hike pattern, now who could that be... :D
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
53. 2:39 and looking fine
Dow 10,053.95 +95.52 (+0.96%)
Nasdaq 1,946.60 +23.62 (+1.23%)
S&P 500 1,106.52 +11.11 (+1.01%)
10-Yr Bond 4.728% -0.012

2:30PM: Oil prices bounce back above $41 a barrel, yet stocks hold their gains in a good sign of resilience...volume has picked up (at least relative to recent days) and may come in near 1.4 billion shares for the NYSE...the Nasdaq approached but did not cross its 200-day moving average of 1952, then dipped back...
http://finance.yahoo.com/mo
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NeoConsSuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
55. Bush, His Oil Buddies, and Election 2004
OK, here is my take on the market the past couple of days. If there is even a *hint* that oil prices are going to drop, stocks zoom up.

So my prediction: As the election draws near, oil prices will magically drop, causing a huge boost to the stock market. The American voter, seeing his weekly gas bills dropping and his 401k increasing, votes Bush back into office. And our "Oil President" gets re-elected with the help of his "Big Oil" buddies, including those from Saudi Arabia.

You heard it here first.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
57. I think I've discovered the real DRAG on the economy!
I'm feeling pretty awful today so I went home at noon. I've been sleeping since then and I wake up to find what?

The markets are taking off like a shot!

And I don't see any reason for it (and don't believe in the PPT).

I'm wondering whether my efforts at the office are actually HURTING the economy????

Perhaps I should have the White House bid on contracts to get me to stay home? My second half-day-sick in four or five years has added BILLIONS to the economy!

It's hurting my ego a little bit... but if they want to pay me for it I'll be happy to suffer in silence.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Yes, Frodo--it's all your fault! You and oil prices...
Edited on Tue May-25-04 03:15 PM by Maeve
Dow 10,117.62 +159.19 (+1.60%)
Nasdaq 1,964.65 +41.67 (+2.17%)
S&P 500 1,113.08 +17.67 (+1.61%)
10-Yr Bond 4.724% -0.016


3:30PM: The rally continues...oil prices provided the stimulus, but sentiment is also shifting, according to some traders...the action today and the improved breadth numbers have helped...not that a big rally is expected, but some of the downside risk may have been alleviated according to some...

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. WOW! Guess I missed the party, again. The closing blather is rather
entertaining. A measly 58 pennies is being credited as the catalyst for today's "booming" market. Unfrigginbelievable. :crazy:
So what's your call? Irrational exuberance, happy days are here again, shorts rushing to cover or a SUCKERS RALLY!

Hope some of you made a few pennies today!

Close Dow +159.19 at 10,117.62, S&P +17.67 at 1,113.08, Nasdaq +41.67 at 1,964.65:

It started off as boring as many of the recent trading sessions...then oil futures traded lower, and stocks got the push they needed...at the end of the day, the July contract for light crude was down only $0.58 to $41.14...that isn't all that dramatic, but it still proved that much need catalyst that traders had been looking for...after a lackluster morning, stocks trended steadily higher and buyers came out of the woodwork like they haven't for many sessions...volume wasn't particularly heavy, as only 1.55 billion shares traded on the NYSE, but the gains were extremely widespread...
advancers led decliners by a wide margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq...the morning economic numbers had little impact, as May Consumer Confidence was little changed from April, and existing home sales strength was seen as not all that surprising, and probably temporary....but once the indices started higher about noon, the gains were steady and confidence grew...few are ready to say this is the start of something big, but some traders suggested that the downside risk in the market has declined...the 10-year note was +2/32 to yield 4.72%...NYSE Adv/Dec 2781/573, Nasdaq Adv/Dec 2248/917

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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
60. March 25!
I guess those bills aren't late after all. Whew!
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