Recent data is showing that newer loans (utilizing supposed "tighter lending standards") are showing higher default / foreclosure rates than older loans. Market pundits have put the blinders on regarding the sad fact that unemployment is still in no position to support a meaningful rebound in the eocnomy, and the loan default data is a direct result of that. The bulk of mortgage resets are scheduled to occur in mid-2010, and with more and more people out of work, next year is not looking as rosy as "recovery" theorists would have you believe.
Marvel Enterprises (ticker: MVL) is sailing off into the sunset with Disney (ticker: DIS). Obviously the smart folks over at Mickey Land saw the value in the super hero portfolio and snapped it up for $50/share, a nice 30% premium over Friday's close. Aside from the nostalgic connection to my youth, I have been a fan of Marvel the "company" for many years, and earlier this year recommended clients take a look at it when the stock was down on its knees (~$24). More recently, in this very column, we highlighted the all-time break-out (around $38-40). Today's buy-out at $50/share is a nice jump, and investors should never look a gift horse in the mouth. I cannot help but feel a tiny bit disappointed to see the company go away as a tradeable commodity. I still feel Marvel (as a movie studio) has its peak years ahead of it (and obviously so does Disney). Nonetheless, using the rear view mirror as our guide, it's obvious that the post-March run-up was largely pricing in the outcome of this growth and perhaps even some in-the-know speculation on the news we saw this morning. Congratulations and bon voyage to Marvel shareholders.