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Linkfest: The Week Ahead

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Yesterday, we looked at the week that was. Today, we preview the week that is to come.

It will be a relatively light week for economic releases. Monday is the Empire State manufacturing survey. Tuesday brings same-store sales data and September industrial production. (The consensus for the latter is for a 0.1% increase.) Wednesday has two key reports: housing starts (The consensus is for 1.285 million; that's soft.) and the September consumer price index. (The forecast is for a 0.2% increase.) The CPI will be an important data point for Fed policymakers at their next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 31. On Thursday, we'll learn about jobless claims (expected to rise by 312,000), leading economic indicators (The forecast is for a 0.4% gain.), and the Philadelphia Fed Index. (The consensus is for an index reading of 8.0.)

But the real economic news next week will come in the form of profit reports. We have a slew of third-quarter earnings releases scheduled, including lots of high-profile tech and financial names.

First, the financial companies:

Monday: Citigroup (C).

Tuesday: Wells Fargo (WFC).

Wednesday: JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Washington Mutual (WM) and BlackRock (BLK).

Thursday: Bank of America (BAC).

Friday: Wachovia (WB).

Barron's Eric Savitz is calling this coming Tuesday "Super Tuesday" because of all the tech heavyweights reporting: Intel (INTC), IBM (IBM), Yahoo! (YHOO) and Seagate (STX).

More tech bellwethers will follow. EBay (EBAY) reports Wednesday, and Thursday will bring reports from Google (GOOG), Motorola (MOT), Nokia (NOK), SAP (SAP), SanDisk (SNDK) and Xilinx (XLNX).

Also on the earnings docket this week are quite a few important companies that don't fall into the tech or financial categories. Genentech (DNA) reports Monday; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Tuesday; Coca-Cola (KO), Altria (MO) and United Technologies (UTX) Wednesday; McDonald's (MCD) and Pfizer (PFE) Thursday; and Caterpillar (CAT), 3M (MMM) and Schlumberger (SLB) Friday.

There also are a few Fed speeches scheduled next -- Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig, Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser -- but nothing from the chairman. Also, President Bush will meet with the Dalai Lama ("big hitter, the Lama -- long") at the White House Tuesday. (So he's got that going for him, which is nice.)

Loosen up those wrists. It's Linkfest time!

INVESTING & TRADING

¿ An Aging Bull Can Still Be a Raging Bull: "To the growing list of descriptions for this bull market -- like 'record setting,' 'resilient' and 'uninterrupted' -- you can add one more: 'old.'" (The New York Times)

¿ It's the 20th anniversary of the 1987 Market Crash. There's a media orgy of retrospectives:

- Barron's (Black Monday.)

- The Wall Street Journal (Looking Back, Persistence Is the Lesson.)

- The New York Times (A Pause to Recall the 1987 Crash.)

- BusinessWeek (Lessons from the '87 Crash.)

- New York Post (TWENTY YEARS AFTER.)

- Guardian (The lessons of Black Monday.)

I'm sure more are to follow.

¿ What do antique watches and fed fund futures have in common?

¿ Fund sees move away from dollar-based commodities: "Resource-rich countries will move away from the dollar as a base for the commodities they produce to protect their earnings as the dollar's slide accelerates, UK-based Emergent Asset Management told Reuters."

¿ Research in Sport Psychology: What It Means For Traders.

¿ "So where to invest when the financial markets seem unduly risky and the risk/reward ratio generally unfavorable? ... Hard assets will provide more profits and carry less risk than most financial assets. And that since most 'hard-asset derivatives (equity) remain unpopular among financial-market investors,' they provide intriguing investment potential." (Barron's)

¿ U.S. Stock Market Stumble Presaged by S&P 500 Options: "Skittishness over the U.S. stock market's record-setting rally is reaching a crescendo among options traders who are preparing for a crash." (Bloomberg)

¿ Expectations are for earnings gains of about 9% as Analysts Turn More Cautious: "We are looking forward to yet another quarter of solid earnings growth among the S&P 500 firms. While the current expectations for median year-over-year growth fall short of double digits, at 9.0%, it is not that far away. Early indications of actual third-quarter earnings, 29 firms (5.8% of S&P 500) with quarters ending in August, have been reported. The most notable of these were the Investment Bankers, where three disappointed and one had a positive surprise. However, one of those three, on closer inspection is just about inline." (Zacks)

¿ Carl Icahn explains how all those dumb guys became corporate CEOs: "Ever worked for an idiot as a boss? Notable billionaire Carl Icahn, who is a corporate raider, shareholder activist, or value-oriented investor, depending on who you ask, has a theory on how that person managed to score the corner office. It's kind of a reverse Darwin's Theory. The survival of the dumbest, if you will. And the famous investor has this theory to thank for his multi-billion dollar net worth." (Portfolio)


ECONOMY

The wall of worry continues to build:

¿ Yale economics professor Robert Shiller on the Sniffles That Precede a Recession: "But there are worrisome symptoms, and they bear close watching. The most important is a creeping sense of malaise that could turn into a general loss of confidence. The downturn in the housing market and the repercussions in financial markets are critical factors." (The New York Times)

¿ October Rate Cut Less Likely: "Yields rose last week, especially at the short end of the yield curve, amid further signs of the revival of investors' risk appetites, from Chinese stocks to technology-momentum darlings. With economic data showing few signs of deterioration, for now, prospects grew dimmer for further interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve later this month." (Barron's)


HOUSING

An increasingly curious schism seems to be developing across the real estate markets. We first saw this as a divergence between the haves and the have-nots. But now we're seeing a gap develop between the haves and the have-mores:

- Desperate Seller Unloads Miami Condo -- by the Inch.

- The American Dream Foreclosed: "A surge in subprime lending across the region in recent years is now helping to fuel a boom in foreclosures, with the number of filings rising 55 percent in suburban counties in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period last year, an analysis of real estate data shows." (The New York Times)

- Median Rises, but Sales Fall: What is happening across the East End: "a meteoric rise in sale prices that many brokers say is driven by big Hamptons trophy-home sales, but a glut of homes valued under $10 million sitting on the market, including some new ones built by speculators."

- Where the Haves Live: There's a high concentration of wealthy people living along Fifth, Park and Madison Avenues between 77th and 82nd Streets, for example. But two of the top-ranked block groups have changed considerably since the '80s." (The New York Times Magazine)


WAR/MEDIA/POLITICS/ENERGY

¿ Web Traffic Measuring Firms Nielsen Net Ratings and comScore (SCOR) may soon find their tools worthless.

¿ Slate's Daniel Gross explains why even the ultra-rich are abandoning the Republicans. "For nearly the entire 20th century, a simple formula held: Businesspeople like Republicans and don't like Democrats. Republican politicians and voters heartily embrace free trade and lower taxes, while Democratic politicians and their constituencies cotton to protectionism and higher taxes. Over the past century, racial, ethnic, and geographic realignments altered the shape of the national parties beyond recognition. But when it came to the wealthy, there was less movement than in the facial muscles of an over-Botoxed newscaster. Until now."


TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE

¿ Nikon Small World photography contest. (These are amazing photos.)

¿ In Radiohead Price Plan, Some See a Movement: "Initially, they viewed it as a way to let fans preview Radiohead's music without the guidance -- or filter -- of radio programmers, music critics or other conventional tastemakers. Instead, when Radiohead quietly divulged plans to let fans name their price for the digital download of its new album, 'In Rainbows,' it incited talk of a revolution in the music industry, which has found the digital marketplace to be far less of a cash cow than it once dreamed. Though Radiohead is in a position that can't easily be replicated -- it completed its long-term recording contract with the music giant EMI while retaining a big audience of obsessive fans -- its move is being seen as a sign for aspiring 21st-century music stars." (The New York Times)

¿ Yahoo! Music to record execs: No more DRM, ever.


MUSIC BOOKS MOVIES TV FUN!

¿ Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld: This week, I saw the the new theatrical version of this classic in its full cinematic glory. How was it? Well, I have some good news and some bad news...

That's all from the Northeast, where the weather is beautiful and the Oysterfest is in full swing! Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

Got a comment, suggestion, link idea? Or do you just have something on your mind? The Linkfest loves to get email! If you've got something to say, then by all means, please do.

RealMoney Barometer Poll
1 What would best describe your stance heading into the coming week of trading?
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2 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move up in the coming week?
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At the time of publication, Ritholtz had no positions in stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time. Barry Ritholtz is the chief market strategist for Ritholtz Research, an independent institutional research firm, specializing in the analysis of macroeconomic trends and the capital markets. The firm's variant perspectives are applied to the fixed income, equity and commodity markets, both domestically and internationally. Other areas of research coverage also include consumer, real estate, geopolitics, technology and digital media. Ritholtz is also president of Ritholtz Capital Partners (RCP), a New York based hedge fund. RCP is driven by the analysis performed by Ritholtz Research. Ritholtz appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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