Good Sunday morning, and welcome to Weekend Reading. 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 to the week ahead.
It was a down week, with all three major U.S. indices losing ground. The Dow fell 0.6%, as did the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.7% on the week.
Turning to economic news, the Conference Board plans to release its January consumer confidence reading Tuesday. Next up, Fed policymakers plan to meet Tuesday and Wednesday; they're expected to leave the federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25%. Wednesday also will bring fourth-quarter GDP (with the consensus being for 3.0% growth), as well as the National Association of Purchasing Management's Chicago business survey. Then on Thursday, we will see December data on personal income and spending. Also on Thursday's schedule: January domestic car and truck sales. Lastly, the government plans to release January U.S. employment data Friday. The consensus is that employers added 145,000 nonfarm jobs during the month.
Turning to earnings releases, there are hundreds of companies reporting, so you can pick and choose wherever you want. Some highlights include Boeing (BA), Procter & Gamble (PG) and the almighty Google (GOOG).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.
- Technology stocks are back and are outperforming. (The New York Times)
- Barron's tips tech IPOs, Avis, and Altria, and pans BMC Software. (Bloomberg)
- TBV and RACK respectively lead best- and worst-performing stocks so far this year. (Ticker Sense)
- Index managers can't make up their mind about whether stocks are growth or value. (Ticker Sense)
- Interesting look at historical price-to-earnings ratios for some well-known stocks. (Ticker Sense)
- Shrinking labor force is a big post-Davos economic story out of Europe. (The International Herald Tribune)
- Fed set to hold rates steady, stay focused on inflation. (Bloomberg's John Berry)
- The Wall Street Journal is set to offer scratch-n-sniff ads. (AdAge.com)
- New views on retirement say save less, retire with enough. (The New York Times)
- Nice cross-national comparisons of mortgages and homeownership. (Los Angeles Times)
- Research: China's Renminbi isn't as undervalued as people think. (NBER)
- Gap went too far focusing on finances over fashion. (Time)
- Gap overemphasized new store growth over same-store growth. (Globe and Mail)
- Amgen's pipeline disappointments are weighing heavily on the stock. (Reuters)
- Pfizer overhaul shows what ails the industry: no new product pipeline. (The Economist)
- Small and mid-sized banks are losing momentum and expected to become M&A fodder. (IDD)
- Refurbished McDonald's strategy is paying off. (BusinessWeek)
- A gold bear fesses up to having been wrong -- but stays bearish. (Bloomberg)
- "Unlocked" cell phones threaten to change the industry. (News.com)
- U.S. phone bills are on the rise again. (Los Angeles Times)
- International markets awash in liquidity may test irrational exuberance. (Economist.com)
- The scariest story of the year: uranium smuggling. (Economist.com)
- Antigua defeats U.S. in gaming law challenge. (Telegraph)
- Microsoft's Steve Ballmer continues to fight the last war. (The New York Times)
- The best time to buy a house, and pretty much anything else, was 35 years ago. (The New York Times)
- Research: Do analysts herd? You bet they do. (NBER)
- One billion phones were shipped in 2006. (ComputerWorld)
- Major profile of Rupert Murdoch. (Forbes)
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