"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”That’s what President Obama told 60 Minutes last night. My response: You could have fooled me. The simple fact of the matter is, the administration has bent over backwards to help “fat cat bankers.” From re-writing accounting rules to turn insolvent banks into suddenly profitable entities to the softball “stress tests” – banks have been helped out in every conceivable way. Of course, let’s not forget that something had to be done. Our banking system was swirling down the tubes. The decision to…
Retail sales rose by 1.3% in November. That was better than expected and makes for a solid counterpoint to the disappointment from Black Friday sales numbers. Auto sales were up too, which is a positive sign. Many were expecting a sharp drop in auto sales after the Cash for Clunkers program ended. The relatively strong retail numbers are being pointed towards as evidence that American consumers are feeling better about the economy. Some analysts are even saying that the decline in the rate of unemployment is a factor. While I agree that Americans may be feeling better about the economy,…
To kick things off today, I’m going to borrow from Jason Cimpl’s morning message to his TradeMaster Daily Stock Alerts readers:Yesterday [Wednesday] was a classic day of consolidation. Stocks moved lower in the opening minutes, but the [S&P 5000] quickly found support at 1085. This price action was good to see because the prior day’s move found support at 1088, which should not have acted as price support. Then [the S&P 500] moved sideways for most of the day before shooting higher in late day trade to retest 1097 resistance.Yesterday’s activity, where both bulls and bears defend critical prices, indicates that…
A week ago, many in the financial media were quick to sweep Dubai World’s debt problems under the rug. "The U.S. markets have little exposure," they said. It was assumed that the debt could simply be restructured and the global economic recovery could go on its merry way. Unfortunately, it’s never that easy. When investors see smoke, they figure there must be a fire somewhere, so all of Dubai’s state-run companies are now under suspicion. Debt ratings are being cut which will in turn raise borrowing costs, and make any future debt restructuring more difficult. And the fact that Bloomberg…
Just yesterday, we were talking about how institutional investors are taking some profits on U.S. stocks, regardless of investor expectations. Good timing for that discussion, as The New York Tines ran an article yesterday discussing the gains sovereign wealth funds made as they bailed out troubled banks at the height of the financial crisis.Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund invested $3 billion in Citigroup (NYSE:C) in January 2008. That was well before the crisis hit – in fact, it was before Bear Stearns failed. Citigroup was around $25 a share at the time. Kuwait just announced that it sold its stake in…
The Dow Industrials continues to struggle with resistance at 10,500. Every time it peeks above that level, the sellers step in. Friday was a great example. Stocks were up big on the surprise employment numbers. The Dow made it to 10,549. And then, even though that data was evidence that the U.S. economy is improving, stocks sold off.What does this tell us?In my opinion, it tells us two things. The first is that the positive employment news (and a range of other improvements to the economy) is priced into stocks. In other words, stocks are priced for the earnings gains…
Mr. Vegas Man — Hey Santa!What’s on your mind? [...]
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Um, no, this isn't quite what Noah's got up his sleeve.
If you were with us last holiday season, you'll recall that it took Noah three installments to do his year-end review, "2008, A Year on Steroids," Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, which consisted in large part of settling accounts with many of the all-too-usual suspects who had done so much to make the year what it was.
This year he's stored up enough holiday lack-of-cheer to undertake a full "12 Days of Christmas Scorn," which will kick off -- like the 12 Days of Christmas themselves -- on Christmas Day and then run up to Epiphany. Piling on to the objects of his scorn will be welcome, and if by chance he misses any particular objects of your scorn, consider it your duty to turn the rat(s) in. So watch this space starting Friday. -- Ken
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Reid just started speaking. Lieberman is back in town. Vote should be happening soon.
Update: A rare vote from their seats. And a rare view of all Senators in their seats.
Update 1:18 AM: 60-40 as expected, cloture is achieved.
Update 1:21 AM: Lots of hugging and hand-shaking on the Democratic side.
Don't they understand this is now how freedom-loving capitalism works? See, in the new capitalism, whatever price the seller offers, you don't ask questions and simply buy. Negotiating is for commies because that will only trigger competition and/or efficiency and we all know how bad that can be for capitalism. Do we really need bad influences like this on the American system? Imagine the purchasing power of what could be the largest buyer on the planet. Surely such purchasing power would mean price cuts from the companies that already charge half the price in other countries. Oh the humanity.
Pharmaceutical companies are being forced to cut the price of high cost cancer drugs for the first time as a result of a tough new approach by the NHS medicines watchdog, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice).
In the latest example, Nice has today announced approval of trabectedin, a drug for soft tissue sarcoma, a rare cancer that can occur anywhere in the body, after the Spanish manufacturer, PharmaMar, agreed a deal which could halve the cost to the NHS.
It is the third time in the past year that companies have lowered the price of cancer drugs in order to get them approved by Nice. Similar deals were done in August with the makers of a drug for kidney cancer and in June for multiple myeloma.
One drugs expert said: "Whereas in the past companies went off in a huff when Nice refused to approve their drugs because of their high cost, now they are returning to the negotiating table to work out an acceptable deal."