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  • Newly spun-off Motorola Mobility (MMI) unveiled its much-touted Android 3.0 OS (GOOG)-based Xoom tablet PC, sans demo, with the explanation the software wasn't ready yet. Motorola also announced new smartphones, including 2 that can run on 4G networks. Premarket, Motorola is +1.9% and Google is +0.1%.  [View news story]
    Motorola made a pretty large splash at CES, lots of products and very cutting edge, they really seem to be getting their head in back in the game.
    Jan 6, 2011. 11:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As their legal costs skyrocket, major banks like JPMorgan (JPM), BofA (BAC) and Citigroup (C) may find their profits imperiled.  [View news story]
    Perhaps they should reform their practices to encourage honesty and transparency rather than lawsuits.
    Jan 6, 2011. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This summer, Sprint (S) will debut a BlackBerry PlayBook (RIMM) for its 4G network. Research in Motion claims this will be the first PlayBook that comes to market with embedded wide-area wireless connectivity. Premarket, Sprint is +2.6% and RIM is -1.7%.  [View news story]
    Sprint following up its coup of the HTC Evo 4G which other carriers took months to get something equivalent to.

    That said, the implication seems to be that wireless Playbook will be available before then, and reviews continue to support the fact that this will be one of the premium tablets hitting the market - and a good revenue grower for RIM.

    I'm very impressed with how Sprint's been managed over the last two years, definitely a brighter future out there.
    Jan 6, 2011. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. could hit its $14.3T debt ceiling by March or April, causing a shutdown of federal offices, a freeze in federal benefits programs or a possible default, unless Congress raises the limit. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn't prepared to do so without 'concessions on spending.'  [View news story]
    My favorite parts:

    ""Hitting the limit could force shutdowns of federal offices, as happened in 1995, threaten payments for Social Security and other federal benefits, or even cause a default on federal debt payments.""

    ""The Treasury also had to resort to emergency measures to stay under the debt limit in 2006 and 2007. In both cases, it halted sales of State and Local Government Series securities to municipal bond issuers.""
    Jan 6, 2011. 08:52 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Lights, Global Floods, Australian Coal [View article]
    I'd make the suggestion that China has proved before that with a heavily centralized authority it is capable or forcing things and moving on a schedule incomparable to those in the West.

    Permitting etc that would stall a nuclear project for a decade here wouldn't have the same impact there. Not that I disagree with your comment, but it is something to consider.
    Jan 5, 2011. 08:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Republicans take control of Congress, and many of the 87 GOP newcomers are novice politicians with lots of experience in industries they will now help regulate. Example: One new member who spent three decades in the oil and gas industry in Texas will help oversee drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. That's like putting "foxes in charge of the hen house," Democrats counter.  [View news story]
    To be honest when I was making the comment, I had ten different ideas of how the spinners would spin this, on both sides of the political aisle, and my comment was less clear than I wanted it to be...

    I'm not generally concerned about food/energy nor where the S&P is precisely at, what I am specifically interested in with regards to the politicians running the show is real structural change for improved fortunes among every american demographic. An obsession with details on one end or another - the upper echelon's tax free munis or the lower end's foodstamps - makes us forget about creating a strong country with a strong future - the backbone of which was, is, and always will be the middle class.
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Republicans take control of Congress, and many of the 87 GOP newcomers are novice politicians with lots of experience in industries they will now help regulate. Example: One new member who spent three decades in the oil and gas industry in Texas will help oversee drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. That's like putting "foxes in charge of the hen house," Democrats counter.  [View news story]
    The Reps may be setting themselves for an epic failure for the next elections. The mandate, again, and again, from the american public is change, and over and over we get the same bag of tricks.

    If the Reps don't improve things by 2012 next election won't go quite as nicely.

    Of course we've already had a great year in the markets under the O's watch, let's see how '11 plays out.
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google (GOOG) has "given up" on social networking, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster says, which inevitably will result in a shift of ad dollars to Facebook. The hard reality for Google is that it "can’t recreate the social graph" won by Facebook, Jaffray says. "What Facebook has showed is that finding information is more social-based, and less machine-based." (video)  [View news story]
    I expect Google to attack "sideways", by creating something that will erode the walled garden. One Facebook leaks like a sieve Google will suck it dry.

    It's a very Google thing to do. If you can buy it, create something that makes it leak into you hah.

    Look at how dominant Android has become, Google has yet to monetize it for all its worth, but there is a plan there, and its got a long tail.
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite chatter about being cut off from supplies, there was no reduction in Japan's imports of rare earths from China in 2010. Chinese trading firms confirm that while the metals are harder to get a hold of,  they are still doing business with Japan,  [View news story]
    Isn't Toyota already planning on doing that with where the Yen is? (Prius hybrid powertrain uses rare earths)
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite chatter about being cut off from supplies, there was no reduction in Japan's imports of rare earths from China in 2010. Chinese trading firms confirm that while the metals are harder to get a hold of,  they are still doing business with Japan,  [View news story]
    Additionally, it may have been partly smoke and mirrors to drive up the value of the product and an opportunity for China to test its clout.
    Jan 5, 2011. 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The SEC is under tremendous pressure to scrutinize the controversial investment deal between Goldman Sachs (GS) and Facebook, Fox's Charlie Gasparino reports, and Wall Street sources tell him there's a "50/50 chance" the deal could get nixed.  [View news story]
    Honestly?

    If the that's the kind of market - where Facebooks "share" sellers came out and said no one has any idea of what revenues are, and GS's "client" buyers - who may be getting completely screwed as no independant auditing of Facebook's books has been done or allowed - that the "wealthy clients" of GS want in to, I say, go for it.

    Just don't come crying when you lose your money, and don't expect middle america to bail you out.

    The fact that they are breaking the law, is a problem, but as to the specifics and to the notion that GS may set itself up with its own private "stock market" dealing with large companies that don't want the scrutiny associated with going public, I could care less.
    Jan 5, 2011. 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Strip malls continue to cope with oversupply, lower rents and a high vacancy rate, according to real estate research firm Reis. Vacancies at U.S. strip malls were flat in Q4 at 10.9%, and effective rent fell to levels last seen five years ago. The numbers were brighter at larger regional malls, where the vacancy rate fell for the second straight quarter.  [View news story]
    i.e. payroll tax breaks, etc. Ignoring the reality of government intervention in the form of for example tax breaks for small business just to take the opportunity to pound home the idea that 'government bad, me good' is just politics and shortsighted.

    I'm a small business, and I can guarantee you that the new 1099 law is onerous and cumbersome. And it's legislation. If it was removed, i would be better off. This is "measures taken to rekindle" etc. Let me know if you need more help understanding my comment.
    Jan 5, 2011. 04:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strip malls continue to cope with oversupply, lower rents and a high vacancy rate, according to real estate research firm Reis. Vacancies at U.S. strip malls were flat in Q4 at 10.9%, and effective rent fell to levels last seen five years ago. The numbers were brighter at larger regional malls, where the vacancy rate fell for the second straight quarter.  [View news story]
    Overbuilt by builders who expected national retailers who were expanding would fill them.

    They need to be filled by neighborhood and small business now if anything will fill them.

    And that segment of the economy is not doing quite as well as the big corps.

    It remains to be seen whether the right legislation and measures will be taken to rekindle the engine of growth in the real economy.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • John Boehner takes the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, but now it's time to govern, and Republicans are already forced to scale back plans for deep spending cuts. When House leaders said highway and mass-transit programs shouldn't be shielded from cuts, they immediately drew fire from states, the construction industry and the Chamber of Commerce.  [View news story]
    What is also true is that regardless of what they can or cannot do, they successfully manipulated the public into believing that they would do big things and it took a NY minute for them to say 'well hold on a minute..."

    What a disgrace.

    If they didn't know they couldn't make the cuts, then they are so incompetent as to be unworthy of office. If they did know they couldn't make the cuts, they are liars and crooks and also unworthy of office.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:11 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Lights, Global Floods, Australian Coal [View article]
    I should point out that even though US energy consumption has been going down, it is also due in part to the export of manufacturing to the very emerging markets growing their consumption.

    the point being, let's not break our arms patting ourselves on our collective backs for our reductions when we may just have shifted our consumption.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:07 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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