Solstice Linkfest: Week in Preview

Sunday, June 24, 2007 | 06:30 PM

Yesterday we reviewed the week that was; Today, we will preview the coming week.

Econ_week_2The data for the week: Monday brings Existing Home Sales (and usually some easily mockable commentary from the National Association of Realtors); Tuesday is New Home Sales; Wednesday we get Durable Goods.  Thursday we see Corporate Profits, and the Final Q1 2007 GDP; its the 3rd release, and so barring any surprise (0%?), its old news. Friday is Personal Income and Outlays, NAPM, Construction Spending and Consumer Sentiment.

Beyond the regular data releases, however, 3 issues will dominate the week's agenda.

Up first: The Federal Reserve meets Wednesday and Thursday. The is now focusing on some clouds in their forecasts, even as core inflation eases. They are widely expected to stand pat, makibng it a full year since they first "paused" in June 2006. Traders should be watching the statement for some hawkish language.

Next: Its Quarter's end, and that tends to provide some lift. Look for fund manager's favorites to get marked up as the second quarter goes into the record books.

Last: Friday at 6:00pm is the official launch of the iPhone. You will note that both yesterday and today are devoid of iPhone links, as it would be redundant. Let me instead point you to Apple's guided tour --  a 20 minute video on how to use the iPhone. Warning: Watching this video will generate feelings of geek  lust, gadget envy and drool. I wasn't planning on getting one but -- damn! -- the thing is the frickin' future.

And our preview is all about the future: trading tactics, investing strategies, the articles, columns, blog links and video that reference what might be.

Fire up those mice! -- its the linkfest preview.

INVESTING & TRADING

Top performing newsletter more cautious about stock market: Valueline, one of the top performing newsletters over the last 25 years for risk-adjusted performance,  adopted a more cautious outlook on equities' prospects. What makes this noteworthy is that the stock analysis service has been steadfatedly bullish over the past 5 years. (Marketwatch)

• Is there ever anything more expensive than reaching for Yield? How Might Subprime Issues Unravel?

Taking the Short Route: The higher the market goes, the more people don’t believe it. Or at least that’s one explanation for the 6% increase in short interest on the New York Stock Exchange by mid-June, which the Big Board reported late yesterday (WSJ Marketbeat

A Tale of Two Hedge Funds "Let's leave, for the moment, the question of the incredibly complex and opaque layers of leverage, synthetic structures, derivatives swaps, and mark-to-model valuations that transformed mere commonplace mortgage loan write-downs into 23% losses of $600MM invested equity in approximately 9 months on a fund created because its precursor fund, which had dawdled along for two years or so generating a mere 1.0-1.5% a month return, we are informed, just wasn't good enough for the high rollers who didn't damn well put their money in hedge funds to earn 12-18% a year. This is really all about a bunch of subprime loans.

Trade Like a Scientist:  Stop relying on gut instinct and emotion, and start using testable trading strategies.      

Long-Term Rate Rise Prompts Strategy Shift The recent bond market rout is prompting some fixed-income investors and mortgage shoppers to rethink their strategies. Some investors have begun buying bonds with longer maturity dates, taking advantage of yields that moved higher as bond prices fell. Meanwhile, as rates on 30-year mortgages also jumped, some borrowers have begun taking another look at adjustable-rate mortgages. Bank of America Corp., for instance, says it's seeing increased interest in hybrid ARMs that carry a fixed rate for the first three, five, seven or 10 years and then adjust annually. (free Wall Street Journal)

• Floyd Norris asks, Could An Underbid Win Dow Jones? (New York Times)

How to spot retirement hogwash: Some call it hogwash. Others call it B.S. No matter what it's called, those on the verge or already in retirement need to be on the lookout for it. Older Americans must have their "detector" up when it comes to the products and services being hawked by those in the so-called retirement industry. (Marketwatch)

• Based on your emails, nearly all of you agreed with me: How come Home Depot has money for Buybacks, but not for any service?   

China: A clean-tech gold rush? Silicon Valley sees big market: Silicon Valley companies, which first looked to China to manufacture PCs and iPods, now see potential profit in its environmental meltdown. They see opportunities to sell a vast range of clean-tech products and services. Those include water filtration systems; green building technologies that reduce energy use; processes to convert waste into biofuels; better wind turbines; solar power technology; "smart" street lights; and even software for energy companies to help manage operations more efficiently. (The San Jose Mercury News)


ECONOMY

The Wall of worry grows ever higher:

• A closer look at the LEIs: Is the Economy Poised to Expand?   

Debating the Reasons Behind Recent Jump in Bond Yields: The WSJ.com invited James D. Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, to discuss their takes on bonds and what hints about the economic future their yields may yield.

The Federal Reserve And History of Money

Teen Behavior Offers Clue To Why Jobless Rate Stays Low Despite Slowing Growth:  Teenagers have been falling out of the nation's labor force for years. Now, a particularly sharp drop in the number of teenage job hunters may help explain an economic mystery: why the U.S. unemployment rate has remained so low despite a sharp slowdown in growth.
At last count, about seven million of the 17 million Americans between 16 and 19 years old were working or looking for work. That's 41%, down from 43.5% a year earlier and well below more than 55% two decades ago. Teens account for just 5% of the nation's workers, but the decline in their participation in the labor force has reduced the number of people looking for work -- helping to keep the unemployment rate a low 4.5%. (free Wall Street Journal)

Land Boom Resounds in Manhattan The insatiable demand to acquire any parcel in Manhattan for development has been supported by worldwide attention from many different first-time purchasers from abroad," he went on. "Firms from Dubai, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, China, and numerous other countries have come to this great city of ours and show confidence that this local melting pot continues to be the best market in the world to invest in."      


WAR/MEDIA/POLITICS/ENERGY

China Tops World In CO2 Emissions China has overtaken the United States as the world's top producer of carbon dioxide emissions _ the biggest man-made contributor to global warming _ based on the latest widely accepted energy consumption data, a Dutch research group says. (AP)   

Bloomberg: U.S. 'Is in Trouble', On the Coast He Chides Candidates (NY Sun)

• Call it Malthus’s Revenge! World oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected, warn scientists Global demand for food and energy, AKA the necessities of life, could outstrip global production in the not-too-distant future. “Scientists have criticised a major review of the world's remaining oil reserves, warning that the end of oil is coming sooner than governments and oil companies are prepared to admit.” (The Independent)


TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE

Haggling 2.0: For all its advances, the Internet has also given a boost to a practice more commonly associated with flea markets: Haggling for bargains. In the past, only avid shoppers would bother to comparison shop four or five brick-and-mortar stores before buying an outfit, and even today, matching competitors' price discounts is mostly relegated to the world of electronics. But now, search engines and fashion sites listing retailer discount codes make it easier than ever for consumers to work the system. See also How to Cash In On 0% Offers For Credit Cards (free Wall Street Journal)

The Best Online Research Apps/Sites You've Never Heard Of

Beyond the Prius: There is disagreement about where hybrid technology is heading. Hybrid SUVs from Ford and General Motors (GM) have been slow sellers. And last week Honda said it would no longer offer its bestselling Accord in a hybrid option, but would instead introduce a low-emission diesel version in 2009. Honda reckons hybrid technology is better suited to small cars, such as its Civic, used for short trips. (Economist)

The case of the disappearing Great Lake Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, has dropped to its lowest level in 81 years. The water is 20 inches below average and a foot lower than just a year ago. (USA Today) 



MUSIC BOOKS MOVIES TV FUN!

More Sex Please, We’re Economists: Freakonomics blog does a Q&A With economist Steve Landsburg. The Slate columnist is the author of More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics;  It received a lovely review from the Financial Times.

A Rat With a Whisk and a Dream:  Throughout the Pixar film Ratatouille, the characters work on dishes like steamed pike with butter, braised fennel and heirloom potatoes or grilled petit filet mignon with oxtail and baby onion ragout topped with truffled bordelaise and shaved Perigord truffle. The idea was to create food so authentic that people would leave the theater with an urge to cook and eat. But it turns out that computer-generated food can look much scarier than a computer-generated bug or car. (New York Times)

The seven most annoying things about the future

Hysterical: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Tony Awards: (it was on Conan, so it is marginally safe for work)   
 

It looks like a lovely weekend in the Northast, where I am off to the beach for a few days to get prepared for the FOMC meeting.

~~~

Got a comment, suggestion, link idea? Or do you just have something on your mind? The linkfest loves to get email! If you've got something to say, then by all means please do.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 | 06:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
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I'll say one thing... the right sequence of events happen in these next mere 2 or 3 days, and I've got your "stand pat" standing right here.

Posted by: Eclectic | Jun 24, 2007 8:15:17 PM

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