Weekend Reading: Nervous Observers
Good Sunday morning. As always, here are some articles and papers worth reading. First, however, a look back at the week that just finished, and a look forward at the week ahead.
It was a mixed week for the major markets. The Dow and the S&P 500 went in opposite directions, with the Dow gaining 0.5% and the S&P 500 losing 0.5%. The ever-inconoclastic Nasdaq lost 1.8% on the week. Click here for the weekly performance.
Looking forward to next week, most observers remain nervous. Iran, oil prices, and the outlook for interest rates are all weighing on investors. That said, there is a sizable contingent of people treating this as a welcome pullback and an opportunity for putting money to work in the market.
Turning to the economic week ahead, on Thursday we will see the consumer price index for February. The Reuters consensus is for a 0.1% rise. On Tuesday we will receive retail sales data for February, and the consensus is for a 0.8 percent decline. Looking further out, the big event remains the FOMC meeting scheduled for March 27 and 28. It's now a slam-dunk certainty that rates will go up again.Next week is fairly quiet on the earnings front, with the fourth-quarter reporting season at last over. Reuters says that S&P 500 companies came in about 65% ahead of expectations, delivering the 14th consecutive quarter of year-over-year double-digit earnings growth. The main companies to watch this week will be the investment banks, with Goldman Sachs (GS), Bear Stearns (BSC), and Lehman Brothers (LEH) all set to report results for their first quarter, which ended Feb. 28. Finally, here are some articles and papers worth reading: Editor's note: To access some of these stories, registration or a subscription may be required. Please check the individual links for the site's policy.
- Remembering the sixth anniversary of the tech bubble's peak (Footnoted.org)
- Small pharma firms Cephalon (CEPH) , KOS (KOSP) and CollaGenex (CGPI) are delivering products, even if big pharma isn't (Fortune)
- A somewhat strained bullish argument for Yahoo over Google (Fortune)
- How bond honcho Bill Gross works (Fortune)
- Equity research conflicts still abound, says the author of a new book (Reuters)
- Are cuts in equity research constraining the IPO market? (Reuters)
- Tech equity follow-on issuance is up more than 50% year-over-year (IDD)
- Nasdaq makes a $2.4-billion takeover bid for the LSE (Bloomberg)
- The rapid rise of the anti-aging industry (BusinessWeek)
- Have Google's gaffes convinced investors that it's irresponsible? (BusinessWeek)
- Barron's is bullish on Boeing (BA), Avon (AVP) and ITG (ITG)
- Google's click fraud class-action settlement is called a cheap win (AdAge)
- Ken Fisher touts takeover candidates, including Korn/Ferry (ITG) (Forbes)
- Nortel retains its reputation as a serial restater (CFO)
- Abbott Labs and others are facing increasing pressure over "high" cancer drug prices (The New York Times)
- Citibank and others affects by largest debit card security breach ever (Computerworld)
- Worldwide growth in PC shipments expected to slow considerably this year (EETimes)
- An "excerpt" from Alan Greenspan's coming memoir (Slate)
- Research: The international debt, securities, and derivatives markets (Bank for International Settlements)
- Research: Adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers don't know how much their rates could change (The Federal Reserve Board)
- Research: Machine-learning techniques continue to challenge the efficient market hypthesis (Social Science Research Network)
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