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Here's a nice NYTimes article on corporate profits -- very apropos for earnings season.

800 companies report this week along with a very busy data week. Don't make any plans for Wednesday with a 10 am existing home sales report, 10:30 oil inventories and a 2:15 Fed decision!

We got to 12,000 -- now what? The NYTimes points out that this 1,000 point Dow run has taken 14 times longer than the average of the last 7 1,000 point runs (possibly a loss of momentum?):

Times Chart!

How long will long-term rates remain so low? If banks are feeling the pressure to increase profit margins and short-term rates are up to 5.25% (from 1% in June 2004), when will this rubber band snap?

I agree with Bob MacIntosh of Eaton Vance, the Fed must tighten further ($$$) -- I already told Bernanke what he needs to do, now we need to see if they have the courage to pull the trigger on Wednesday! Paul Volcker agrees with both of us.

Friday at 8:30 is the GPD report and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) says we are looking at 2%, lower than last quarter's 2.6% and lower than the 2.2% expected by analysts. Caterpillar just had the biggest one-day decline of its stock since Black Monday in October 1987 -- they always blame the messenger!

Meanwhile Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE:ACI) says they see a weak domestic market, but that may be just because oil and gas are getting cheap again. Here's an interesting Dow chart of various highs.

I'm not the only one worried about the transports...

Interesting article on how a terrorist attack set off a familiar sounding series of events that led to the fall of the Roman Empire. After you read that, take a look at how far we've come in just 6 years!

Conservatives are getting hammered on terrorism as the story is pieced together after all these years. I'm not even going to go into the scandal(s) as there's enough of that now, but there are just 2 weeks left until election day and there's a real short sentiment on the Republicans all of a sudden.

The Republicans have to be freaking out that Clinton raised $7B in 30 days. It puts a little pressure on the Conservatives, who were hoping to raise "just" $300M for the 2006 campaign. Meanwhile Clinton is making Fox News very sorry they asked him on...

Here's the background of what Clinton is finally so fed up with.

Speaking of backgrounds, here's a great BBC piece on Iraq in a nutshell. The long version (including Iran) was on U.S. TV back in 1987 so we could have seen this coming...

In the interest of being "fair and balanced", we can now take a look at a Republican message that is being broadcast in the heartland. It's no joke, but I wish it were!

The administration did move quickly to address the issue of 655,000 Iraqi civilian deaths freaking everyone out, as I reported last week. Their solution is to stop the hospitals from releasing the data! Nice work boys -- keeping the world safe from accurate information is what Operation Iraqi Liberation was all about (you can tell from the original acronym!).

Hedge funds took in $44B in Q3, now $1.5T under management. It is possible that this represented a large-scale "bail out" by traditional funds who played that game and lost and are doubling down rather than write off some embarrassing investments.

After writing that phone article, it occurs to me that America Movil SA de CV (NYSE:AMX) [10/26] may be very fairly valued, as Mexico is one of those countries where mobile phone growth is exploding. America Movil is up, up, and up, but hasn't yet had an Apple/Google moment when everyone discovers a company that's been growing sales at 30% a year and earnings at 75% A YEAR!

Last quarter they "only" beat by 20% flatlined, and this year's growth is projected to be just 32% vs. 40% expected this year. Last Q3 was a big disappointment, and fear is keeping the premiums low with the Nov $45s at $1.

Maybe it's just me but I asked the question over the summer: "If oil is justifiably at $70, why are the alt-energy plays dropping?" Well, here we are in the winter and they're doing it again, down 40% from their highs even though oil is down "just" 25% (still up over 100% since Bush took office). OIH "usually" tracks even closer!

When Blogger is down or dead slow (as it was this morning) you can find my articles at http://seekingalpha.com/by/author/philip-davis . Of course you should bookmark it now, as you won't be able to find it when Blogger does go down!

Breaking down the CPI in a chart gives you a great visual on how much a 38% rise in housing has affected us this past 6 years!

It's going to be an exciting week!

Read all of Phil Davis's articles on Seeking Alpha.

Source: Options Trader: Weekend Ideas