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Looking for Traction By: Charles Payne

The Supreme Court has come through with mostly business-friendly decisions, including a major blow to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. While the ruling would actually give more power to the Executive Branch, any ruling against SOX is seen as a victory for the market. The Act, and subsequent law, was a knee-jerk response to lax supervision that missed the gargantuan house of cards that were Enron, WorldCom, and others. There was also a decision seen as a rebuke against the quest for additional punishment of tobacco companies. The news helped stocks climb off the canvass earlier this morning but angst is dense and heavy, weighing on the minds of investors who obviously sold into strength today.

I am still sifting through this morning's economic data on personal income and spending. One of my pet peeves, consumer savings, improved but at the expense of spending. I think it's smart for consumers to put away money, but many are doing so because they lack confidence, and that is worrisome. Income came in 0.1% below consensus, reflecting the power of employers. Hourly wages have been edging up ever so slightly and need to be a positive on Friday, when the headline jobs number will read massive amount of jobs lost.
Several influential economic reports will be released before we get to the jobs report on Friday, I think they're all going to have to be in line or better to build any kind of steam going into the last session of the week.

G20 was Lame
By: Brian Sozzi, Equity Research Analyst

When a person gets there expectations up, it sets the stage for a letdown when the actual outcome turns out to be the opposite. Heading into the G20 this past weekend, there was considerable anticipation in the air. Finance ministers and central bank governors were supposedly going to outline tough coordinated banking standards and some form of programs to bring down runaway deficits. Unfortunately, the event was an outright flop, a true waste of time if you ask yours truly. The G20 put on the table measures to reign in debt, but there was disagreement prevalent as to whether government spending should be more of a focus instead of deficit control. The fact violence that occurred while the people of power met and more there were headlines detailing that the U.S. lost its bid for the World Cup underscores the lack of substance that stemmed from the gathering. This ultimately speaks to a larger issue at hand; for example who is Germany to sit there and tell leaders in Japan what to do about tackling its excessive debt position. It's all one big farce, a meeting that creates increased anxiety as opposed to getting vital matters established or resolved. These major economic powerhouses will meet in November of this year, I reason the headlines will be lame as they were over the most recent weekend.

Some Not so Fun Facts of the Heavy Hitters at the G20

* Canada debt forecast at 79.3% of gross domestic product for 2010, 68.9% by 2014.
* Canadian 2010 deficit forecast at $53.8 billion, less than 3% of GDP this year.
* Canada's deficit is expected to whittle down to a near-balanced position by mid-decade.

* British 2010/11 debt-to-GDP forecast at 61.9%, rising to 67.4%by 2015/2016.
* Britain's budget deficit, or its public sector net borrowing, is forecast to be £149-billion, or 10.1% of GDP, falling to £20-billion, or 1.1% of GDP, in 2015/2016.

* German public debt-to-GDP forecast at 76.5% for 2010, forecast at 82% for 2013.
* German 2010 total public deficit forecast at 5.5% of GDP, forecast at just under 3% of GDP for 2013

* U.S. public debt forecast at 63.6% of gross domestic product for 2010, 72.9% for 2015.
* U.S. 2010 deficit forecast at US$1.56 trillion, or 10.6% of GDP, for 2010; forecast at U.S. $752 billion for 2015.

* France's public debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast at 83.2% for 2010 and at 86.6% in 2013.
* France's deficit is forecast at 8% of GDP for 2010, 6% in 2011 and 4.6% in 2012.

* Japan's public debt-to-nominal GDP is forecast at 171.1% for 2010/11, forecast at 184.3% to 197% for 2015/2016.

Disclosure: none