The Ticker


April 2009


Is The Bull Market Back?

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More brave souls are willing to call an end to this bear market, a notoriously tough moment to catch given the fear and uncertainty that marks the switch from downturn to rally. But with the Dow up more than 25 percent since those March 9 lows, more people are starting to see a bull market in the ...

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Swine Flu Fallout: Stocks, Trade And The Economy

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As fears of a swine flu pandemic increase (emphasis on fears) market jitters are rising accordingly due to the uncertain scale and cost of the current outbreak. Citigroup strategist Tobias Levkovich today takes a stab at just what sort of sickness swine flu could inspire in stocks, trade and the ...

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Bank 'Stress Tests' Expose Cracks

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Banks have until May 4 to appeal the results of the government's "stress tests" designed to determine whether they've hoarded enough capital to continue functioning. Already, the results seem to hint the financial crisis will continue. All of the 19 largest U.S. banks under scrutiny are expected ...

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Portfolio Magazine Closes

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Conde Nast is closing Portfolio, a two-year-old title that cost somewhere between $100 million and $150 million (per BW's Jon Fine) and launched at almost the exact moment the financial sector, the economy, and the advertising market started to implode.

The price tag raised a lot of eyebrows, and ...

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Banks Brace For Stress Tests: Who's Vulnerable?

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The 19 largest U.S. banks get the results of the government's "stress tests" starting today. The results will be officially released May 4 and banks still have a few days to appeal, but handicapping the results is already underway.

The AP surveys a few analysts for banks that might fare the ...

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Madoff Madness

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The newsy bit of Fortune's big Madoff story is that Bernie's close cohort, Frank DiPascali, (who is described as a "ninja" for his shadowy presence) is naming names in a plea deal, and claiming none of Madoff's family members were involved. But the story includes a ton of interesting tidbits ...

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Solar Cos. Bitten Twice By Economic Crisis

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Interesting tidbit from Jefferies & Co.'s '09 cleantech outlook. Solar companies are getting squeezed by both the credit crunch in Europe and the stimulus in the Chinese economy (home to a big chunk of low-cost solar panel makers). From the report (bold is mine):

We see the fundamentals for ...

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IMF: Global Financial Crisis Cost $4.1 Tril

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The International Monetary Fund has released its latest Global Financial Stability Report, and guess what it doesn't show much of?

Pick a category, and you find signs of stress. Emerging markets? Check. Their banks face "liquidity and solvency pressures." Credit risk? Check. Lending standards are ...

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Oracle Buys Sun After IBM Balks

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After merger talks with IBM disintegrated, the price for Sun Microsystems (which started at $10 billion before being reduced by IBM from $10 a share to $9.40) finally ended at $7.4 billion -- with Oracle as the buyer. Under the deal today, Sun shareholders will get $9.50 a share.

Early reactions:

  • S&P ...
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    Amazon Can Go Higher: Citi

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    At least somebody is getting a V-shaped recovery.

    Back in early November, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney downgraded the online retailer which made some sense at the time since its shares were slumping and the company was slashing guidance. He downgraded at $52, and by Nov. 20 shares had fallen to ...

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    Green Stocks: Are Things Looking Brighter?

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    It has been an undoubtedly tough year for almost all green stocks, but a few recent stories show a more solid foundation for the industry is starting to take root in the U.S.

    The broad future of green investing got a bit more secure today after the Environmental Protection Agency solidified its ...

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    Rosetta Stone IPO Soars

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    Shares of Rosetta Stone, the language instruction company, jumped almost 44 percent from an initial price of $18 to $25.55 in late-morning trade. It's the third IPO this month (but only the fourth this year), and the respectable performance by new entrants so far is an positive sign that solid ...

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    Today In Real Estate Mayhem

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    A few quick notes from the latest phase of the real estate bust. The commercial sector is still getting worse.

    1. Mall operator General Growth Properties files Chapter 11. The basics: $25 billion in mostly short-term debt was too much for the company, which runs 200 malls in 44 states. The filing,

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    J.P. Morgan: 'No' To PPIP Participation

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    Jamie Dimon says "Thanks but no thanks" to buying toxic assets after beating Q1 earnings expectations.

    From the WSJ:

    He said J.P. Morgan would likely not participate in the Treasury's Public-Private Investment Program, which allows banks to sell illiquid securities and troubled loans.

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    Tea Party Video Round-Up

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    Today's the day! Tax protesters are out in some sort of force. Before the moment passes, bask in some of its more memorable moments:

    Here's Santelli's original Feb. 19 rant:

    And here's an earlier Glenn Beck-inspired meeting, complete with a call for burning books!

    And the awesomest song of all .

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    Why Goldman Sachs Can't Go Free

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    Goldman Sachs went into this crisis acting less like a bank and more like a hedge fund, and it seems they're going to dig themselves out the exact same way. The difference, of course, is that in the interim Goldman got involved with the bailout and became a bank holding company, which opens it up ...

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    How Will We Regulate Risk?

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    Remember the word: "Macroprudential"

    It's not the nebulous name of the latest bank to go bust. Macroprudential describes one of the suggested paths for getting us out the mess the banks caused. Broadly, it's a system-wide, holistic approach to monitoring the financial sector, and a plan that ...

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    Buffett's Bank Buys Beat Back Downgrade

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    Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway saw its long-term credit rating cut to Aa2 from top-rated Aaa by Moody's, which cited the troubled economy and the "severe decline in equity markets" for the move as Berkshire's investments in the likes of Wells Fargo and American Express fell hard, the WSJ ...

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    Pulte And Centex Merge As Homebuilders Circle The Wagons

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    It was only a matter of time before the big homebuilders started a much-needed wave of consolidation. Now, the big publicly traded companies are finally agreeing to pair off in hopes they'll be able to wait out the time it takes to reduce the huge glut of homes built during the real estate boom.

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    Soros: Danger Of Collapse Has Passed

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    George Soros is on Tech Ticker this week, and has some mildly good news for the economy. He says the danger of collapse in the financial sector has been contained and that the worst of the crisis likely came last year when Lehman Bros. collapsed in mid-September.

    That doesn't, however, mean stocks ...

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    Fed's Kevin Warsh On The Upside Of Panic

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    Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh has a reputation as one of the central bank's more assertive literary stylists, and today he's earning that distinction. In his speech today (worth a thorough read), he sees an upside to The Panic of 2008, saying, "the encouraging news, I should note, is that ...

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    Will The Rally Continue?

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    Who's tossing cold water on the rally? A few folks, including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley in separate reports today, are predicting the bounce off of March lows is in for a bit of retrenchment.

    Morgan says it's moving 5 percent of its equity allocation into bonds, and is still 5 percent ...

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    The FASB Rally: More Dishonest Breathing Room For Banks

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    The Dow finally topped 8,000 this morning for the first time since February. Good news for investors, especially owners of bank shares worried over whether hobbled institutions would survive under the weight of all those bad mortgage assets sitting on their books.

    Bank shares are up because ...

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    Recession Watch: Abandoned Boats

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    Apparently, America's coastline is now staging some sort of Upper Class Recession Rapture, leaving hundreds of empty vessels bobbing aimlessly along our shores.

    Via the NYT:

    The bad economy is creating a flotilla of forsaken boats. While there is no national census of abandoned boats,

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