The hits just keep on coming!
With apologies to our readers around the country and around the world, the focus for the week ahead is going to be firmly on this fair city of ours -- New York.
Oh sure, the last big week of earnings season will be on everyone's mind. Industry big-wigs like
on Wednesday; and
on Thursday all report their quarterly results.
And, of course, we've got our fair share of economic data to contend with --
gross domestic product
employment cost index
are both released during the coming week.
But, above everything else, will be the playing of the
For the first time in 44 years, New York, which always seems to have plenty to do on a normal weekend, will play host to what many of us thought we'd never see again -- a Subway Series.
New York Mets and the
New York Yankees square off for the first time in a World Series, kicking off Saturday when Andy Pettitte squares off against Al Leiter.
But what does the Series mean for the average investor?
decided to allow the authors -- one a lifelong Mets fan (who likes to bring up the Fritz Peterson/Mike Kekich wife-swapping years in the Bronx) and the other a dedicated Yankee fan (who relishes pointing to the Mets' two "big" trades: Tom Seaver to the Reds and Nolan Ryan to the Angels) -- the opportunity to weigh in on what this Series will mean. The authors have agreed to put their obvious differences aside in the spirit of newsroom harmony and advise our readers to take some time away from their portfolios this weekend.
last Subway Series (Yankees topped the
Brooklyn Dodgers four games to three) featured a perfect game from a journeyman pitcher named Don Larsen.
The Case for the Mets
As my long-suffering Mets brethren and I prepare for our victorious jaunt through the souls of Yankee fans -- nah, wait a second, Yankees fans have no souls -- the indications for the market are clear. Buy Net stocks, with both hands.
Silly fools. Is there any doubt the Mets possess the face of the New Economy? These guys look like they should be building Web-hosting services and developing "killer apps."
Heck, there are more goatees in the
clubhouse than at
April Fool's Day cookouts. Half the pitching staff has 'em; Jay Payton, their young stud centerfielder is trying to raise one; and let's not even mention those psycho sideburns and 'stash Piazza wears. And tattoos? We got those, too, especially Benny Agbayani's warrior band around one of those home-run producing biceps.
Now, considering the tech wreck of the past few weeks, you'd think the whole New Economy thing would be worn down. But the Mets were worn down in September and they sure bounced back. It's not too unlikely to think we could see a B2B resurrection, followed by, dare we say it, a rally for those go-go Net stocks of 1999.
The other obvious signal for the Mets' triumph is pointing to global diversification. Sure, we unloaded all of our Japanese pitchers last year, but heck, that market has faked us out enough in the past two years anyway. What's developing -- based on the stellar performance of Timo Perez, the feisty outfielder from the Dominican Republic and Edgardo Alfonzo, the steady second-baseman from Venezuela -- is that there's a-something brewing in Latin American stocks.
It could be time to take a gander at
Risky? Sure, but you know what they tell young ballplayers in the Dominican Republic: "You don't get off the island hitting singles."
The Case for the Yanks
Much has been said this year about the success of the U.S. economy during the
years (especially since his No. 2 guy wants the office when Bill's done with it).
However, it should not be discounted that, during the past few years, as the
Dow and the
Nasdaq have reached such atmospheric new highs, another administration has also been in power --
Clinton has his Donna Shalala, Torre has Don Zimmer. Clinton has Janet Reno, Torre has Willie Randolph. You just can't beat a team with a deep bench.
The Yankees have won two years in a row and the stock market has ended those years on a high note. You can do the math. Why mess with success?
George W. might call this kind of logic the politics of fear, but these are our retirement funds and our children's educations we're talking about.
But this sort of economic expansion is not unique. During the Roaring '20s -- Murderers Row; during the post-WWII economic expansion --
; and in the heady early 1960s --
The Mets' last win was in 1986. That year, the
exploded, Chernobyl's nuclear power plant sent a nice warm cloud across the Soviet Union and Eastern Russia and the Iran-Contra hearings made a media star out of Oliver North.
Can we afford these risks?
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner used to be in the shipbuilding business, so a Yankees win could certainly be a boon for such names as
Newport News Shipbuilding
And doesn't our shipbuilding industry deserve a break?
Who will be the big winner of this year's World Series?
The New York City Chamber of Commerce.
Seattle and St. Louis -- at least they don't have to deal with those rabid New Yorkers who couldn't get home-game tickets.