Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Will Lightening Strike Again?

|Includes:American International Group Inc (AIG), WMT
It was a day that felt destined to selloff into the close from the start, but the damage wasn't earth shattering. Right now, there is a sense the rally is long in the tooth by modern standards and a pullback is simply due. There is a chance of trading in a range until next Friday's jobs report. One thing is for sure, investors are in a quandary. If rallies are supposed to fizzle after weeks, and optimism is extinct, then how can this rally last much longer? Well, if nature is a guide then maybe investors will figure out they've been hoodwinked again. In fact, the stock market might be foretelling, or reminding, investors things could get better. I'm not talking about the overused word "hope" here but a shift in attitude, where the nation becomes believers again. Belief is the missing ingredient.

This week it was reported that 1/3 of the world's extinct animals are actually not extinct. How about that! Just as a UN conference is about to get underway that will end with an announcement that 22% of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction, it has been discovered the demise of 67 animals was premature. Dr. Diana Fisher of the University of Queensland Australia came to this conclusion after an extensive study. Do you feel duped? It's like Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," where poor tinker Christopher Sly is tricked during a drunken stupor into believing he is a Lord. After years of mounting self-loathing and endless guilt trips, we have slipped into a drunken stupor where we believe Americans are the cause of all the world's problems, from hunger to global warming.

Obviously, man has killed off many animals and could throttle back on the pollution, but major policies are being decided on junk science married with massive dollops of guilt. The UN is the incubator of American guilt trips, stoked on by Americans with a variety of ulterior motives. The list of 187 extinct animals since the 1500s was too large, and that's good news. I hope we don't have to wait around that long after spending trillions of dollars and stripping away American rights in the name of being the good global citizen to find out there were some holes in the story. I think there are many rats pushing the agenda, so let's be shrewd. In the meantime, let's welcome back:

> Vanikoro Flying Fox of the Solomon Islands
> Cuban Solendon
> Okapi
> Christmas Island Shrew

The Hits Keep Coming from Wal-Mart
By: Brian Sozzi, Research Analyst

CFO Departure
I think the announcement is another in a long list that adds to uncertainty on Wal-Mart as an investment medium term (partially explains our Hold recommendation). First, the legendary, smiley faced backed price rollbacks in the U.S. did not work in the summer (traffic still lagged Target and dollar stores). Second, the merchandise head at the U.S. exited stage left, due to obvious problems in the assortment (such as apparel). Three, a mega deal for MassMart is finally made public, perhaps to draw attention away from the fledgling U.S. business. And now, despite still being a young guy, Schoewe is "succeeded" as a result of an early retirement. I think if you are a Wal-Mart shareholder you have to be worried about the company from an internal standpoint given the pace of change.

Please visit to read remainder of the piece.

Speaking of Being Duped
By: David Silver, Research Analyst

Does anyone feel that all the talk about AIG finally paying back the taxpayer is a bit insincere and a farce? The plan is to be repaid in full ($182.3 billion) by the first quarter of next year, but similar to General Motors the amount of money that needs to be raised seems to completely debunk all thoughts of a solid investment. For instance, the United States government will convert $49 billion of preferred shares into common equity and sell them to private investors. That adds another $49 billion to market cap (currently at $5 billion) which means the share price take a large dive. I really question the exit strategies coming out of the government. Once the $49 billion is converted the US taxpayer will own more than 90% of AIG, on top of owning 61% of General Motors.
Stocks: AIG, WMT