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This was an interesting week, to say the least. With the nonfarm payroll report out of the way for a month, and the next Fed meeting still more than 4 weeks away, we now turn our attention toward earnings season.

So far, preannouncements have been few and far between. That suggests earnings data may be robust, with guidance a possible wild card.

But that's next week. Now it's the weekend, and you know what that means: Linkfest!

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¿ Payrolls Increase at a Healthy Pace, as yields rise and stocks get spooked (If no WSJ subscription, go here). Even before the nonfarm payroll report, new Fed research gave policymakers an excuse to keep tightening rates. ¿ CNBC, Forex, even Playboy: There seem to be an awful lot of stock trading contests these days. In fact, We've Gone Trading Contests Crazy!¿ There was a ton of real estate news this week: ¿ With the market having completed its best first quarter in years, Mark Hulbert asks an interesting question: What does a strong first quarter imply for the rest of the year? Is there a correlation between first-quarter performance and the rest of the year? (The answer may surprise you.) ¿ Oil is nearly $70 a barrel. So why did Venezuela offer long-term contracts at $50 a barrel -- and why did the oil companies refuse? Meanwhile, Its not even summer yet, but gasoline prices are high and rising.
¿ The Yale Endowment fund, which has dramatically outperformed the S&P for decades, releases its annual report ( PDF) to the public. It contains insights into the thinking of its key managers and is worth the read. David F. Swensen is the fund's manager, and his book Unconventional Success has received great reviews. Charles Ellis, who chairs Yale'sInvestment Committee, has also written a few great books. Winning the Loser's Game is considered a classic. I found The Investor's Anthology to be a wonderful read. ¿ Five Traders Worth Studying¿ Paul Merriman offers what is the ultimate buy-and-hold strategy. Unfortunately, most people lack the discipline, and the Buy-And-Hold Strategy Will Often Backfire. Lots of technology-related reading: ¿ There's still time to Reap Tax Credits From 'Green' Appliances, Upgrades. Fast Company asks whether there is a green revolution beginning in investing. ¿ The New Economist wonders whether we are looking at The end of broker research?¿ Interesting new site: The Buyout Blog ¿ There were also plenty of scientific developments this week: ¿ History's Hidden Engine's Robert Prechter has a new Socionomics Institute (including an on line documentary, and two volume Socionomics book). The short version is his " Key Aspects of Socionomic Theory."I don't do Elliott Wave or buy all of his theories, but as I'vementioned previously, the book Prechter's Perspective was quite fascinating. ¿ Space news: Last week, the International Space Station observed a total solar eclipse. Next week marks the 25th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight. ¿ What a surprise! The music industry posted its sixth year of declining sales. Meanwhile, I forgot to mention last week that my man Cody went to see Jamie Cullum (I couldn't go!). While his latest disc Catching Tales is pretty good, check out Twentysomething -- especially his cover of Radiohead's High & Dry. ¿ In other concert news, The Rolling Stones played China for the first time. Tickets at Shanghai's 8,000-seat Grand Stage went primarily to non-Chinese. Demand was so strong that ticket prices on the black market were driven up to $624. Welcome to free markets and the law of supply and demand!
¿ The Magic Numbers is a terrific CD, layered and melodic. I just can't figure out who these eclectic and brilliant guys remind me of: I hear everything from older Who, to Simon and Garfunkel to David Byrne to Pavement. No synthesizers, just classic rock instrumentation and lots of fun. ¿ "Pack your bags, preflight, zero hour 9 am:" By clicking this link, you agree to absolve me and of any responsibility in the event that you laugh so hard you cough up a lung: William Shatner sings Rocketman.

- Mortgage rates hit 4-year high. Meanwhile, The Washington Post notices the economy's overdependence on housing: Is Reliance on Real Estate a Crack in the Foundation?-Second homes make up an increasingly large part of sales. Meanwhile, regulators have issued mortgage warnings to banks: Tighten up your lending standards. -The slowdown has mixed repercussions. The good news is it's causing real estate brokers to cut deals and offer rebates to buyers. The bad news? The rise in rates is pressuring some homeowners, who are struggling to keep up with adjustable rates. -Plus, it turns out that unscrupulous mortgage brokers are selling your mortgage applications (You can learn how to stop credit bureaus from selling your info here.). - If you have a spare $20 million, and can afford the $5,000 per day in upkeep, this is a lovely property that needs some updating.

- Wired magazine shows you how to put your DVDs on your video iPod (Windows). The Mac version is here. -Not that the Department of Justice would ever allow it, but What if Microsoft Bought Apple?-What are the consequences of information integrity in the digital age? Or as First Monday inquires, In Google we trust? Speaking of trust, am I the only one annoyed with Obnoxious Dell Pre-Installs?- Engadget looks at 30 years in Apple products: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And just for giggles, here are the Top 10 weirdest keyboards ever.

- Scientists find the missing link between fish and land animals. - Physicists make a baffling discovery about chaos equaling order. - It turns out that neutrinos have mass (they are thought to have played a key role in the creation of the universe.). -Unfortunately Climate Researchers are Feeling Heat From White House (Blame The Washington Post for that global warming pun.). - Thanks to U.S. Geological Survey and Google Earth, you can take a virtual tour of the 1906 Earthquake.

That's all from the rainy Northeast, where Netflix (now in

patent litigation with Blockbuster

) just delivered

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Good Night and Good Luck

just in time for the weekend.

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;

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