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Weekend Reading

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 holiday-shortened week ahead.

The major U.S. indices were down this past week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4% percent and the S&P 500 index declined 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.05%.

While many factors kept stocks down this past week, chief among them were ever-increasing oil prices, and a newly understandable Alan Greenspan. The latter's words used to be only slightly easier to parse than those of your average string-theory physicist, but he's suddenly speaking clearly and talking markets down, with China being his latest target.

Assuming Greenspan stays in his bathtub and avoids public pronouncements, we'll probably see more gains in the coming week. There is a general feeling out there that the U.S. economy may be bottoming. Sure, there a plenty of ways trends could sour, and growth is better pretty much everywhere else in the world. But the consensus seems to be that things look a little better from here.

Turning to economic indicators, next week will be busy, particularly on Friday. That day, we'll the May payroll report, plus data on personal income and consumer spending for April. We'll also have the Institute for Supply Management's survey of May manufacturing activity, plus an update to the Reuters/University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index for May.

As for earnings, it is finally quieter out there, although there are some higher-profile companies reporting, including Costco (COST), Dell (DELL) and Sears (SHLD).

Finally, here are some articles, papers, and books 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.

  • Advanced Medical Optics now linked to eye fungal infection. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Wind power investments are up. (Oil & Gas Journal)
  • Barron's picks Affordable Residential Communities (ARC). (Barron's)
  • Amgen's (AMGN) bad year continues. (Los Angeles Times)
  • OECD predicts soft landing in the U.S. but faster growth everywhere else. (OECD)
  • Rising tensions in Iran and Nigeria helping to keep oil prices high. (Reuters)
  • U.S. may be ceding Master of the Universe status. (Bloomberg columnist Caroline Baum)
  • Coke's (KO) turnaround needs a lot work. (The New York Times)
  • Timberland has been a great investment, but it's tough for the average investor. (The New York Times)
  • Boomers' stock sales won't drive the market down. (The New York Times)
  • Research: Investors with board connections outperform. (NBER)
  • Research: Why isn't the dollar lower than it is? (NBER/Martin Feldstein)
  • Research: Daily Fed futures changes are excellent predictors of rate changes. (NBER)
  • The current petrol price is, by most measures, still less than its prior peak. (EIA)

RealMoney Barometer Poll

1 What would best describe your stance heading into the coming week of trading?
2 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move up in the coming week?
3 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move down in the coming week?

View the results without voting

At time of publication, Kedrosky had no positions in stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.

Dr. Paul Kedrosky is a former highly ranked sell-side technology equity analyst, and he currently runs a technology finance institute at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a venture partner with Ventures West, an institutional venture capital firm with more than $400 million under management. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. While Kedrosky cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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