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Another wild week is in the books. This one had a little something for everyone: mystery, intrigue and murder (OK, no murder).

Let's start out with the numbers. Some of last week's big winners were this week's losers, and vice versa. Crude oil gained 3% -- it's up around 43% over the past 52 weeks! Emerging market stocks tacked on  2.4%, while European bourses and gold added 1%.

The Nasdaq edged up 0.9%. Global stocks, corporate junk bonds, and commodity futures all saw 0.7% moves higher. The S&P 500, the Dow and investment grade bonds were barely in the green, gaining 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. The Russell 2000 spent this week in the red, losing 0.4%. REITs, last week's big gainer, were down 2.2%.

Had it not been for Thursday's intraday reversal -- a roughly 250-point peak-to-trough swing -- the weekly numbers would have been much better.   

Barron's "The Trader" column advises not to read too much into disappointing third-quarter earnings reports from companies like Alcoa ( AA), Monsanto ( MON) and International Paper ( IP): "There are reasons to believe the quarter will still be positive and beat expectations, even if not by as much in the past."

This week is heavy with bellwether earnings reports (more on this tomorrow), so we will know much more soon enough.

Where to begin this week? Market rally? The dollar? Housing? No matter -- we've got it all covered. It's Linkfest time!


¿ BusinessWeek's Gene Marcial writes This Market Rally Has Legs: "Recession fears are misplaced, and despite some sluggish sectors in the U.S., worldwide growth should keep pushing the numbers up."       

¿ Strong Gains in U.S., Except by Comparison: "Of the 83 countries for which records of a major stock index were available, the American share price increase in the five years after Oct. 9, 2002, was better than those of only four. All four are small countries, either in the Caribbean or Latin America." ( The New York Times)

¿ Spoilsports on the rally:

- As Tech Heats Up, Sages Dust Off Bubble Indicators. ( The Wall Street Journal)

- Some Warning Flags Fly As Stocks Continue to Soar. ( The Wall Street Journal)

¿ Meanwhile, the Fear & Greed Index is neutral.

¿ Earnings season casts long shadow on rally: "The unexplained rally in shares of the search engine giant Google ( GOOG), up more than 30% in the past seven weeks and some 7% in the past five trading days, can only mean tech-crazy investors are gearing up for another blockbuster quarter. But behind the traditional pre-earnings rally in Google, which this time has helped propel the Nasdaq Composite Index to within shouting distance of 3,000 for the first time in almost seven years, dark forces are gathering." ( MarketWatch)

¿ Good visuals: Romping Through the Biggest M&A Year in History. (free in The Wall Street Journal)

¿  The erudite Dr. John P. Hussman and I see things very differently on the liquidity question:

- The Bag Will Not Inflate, And Liquidity Will Not Be Flowing. (Hussman Funds)

- Money Supply Growth: 24.3%! (Big Picture) 

¿ WSJ QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Municipal Bonds?

¿ The startup king's new gig: "After more than a decade of launching dotcoms, Gross has rediscovered the pleasures -- and profitability -- of the physical world. Idealab's current lineup is crowded with companies that make actual products: robots, 3-D printers, electric cars, rooftop solar collectors." ( Business 2.0)

¿ This is circulating via email around trading desks: Market Cheat Sheet: How to respond to new data. (very amusing)


The wall of worry continues to build:

¿ U.S. Affects a Strong Silence on Its Weak Currency. ( The New York Times)

¿ Why G-7 should stick to the bromides: "It has been a long time since meetings of the Group of Seven finance ministers were newsworthy events. Though economics reporters dutifully continue to log the air miles in pursuit of some elusive hint of a global crisis, their hearts aren't really in it. The discussions are over before any of the officials has even arrived and amount to a series of bromides about the importance of global economic stability. While currency traders scan it as though it were some archaeological discovery, the communique issued after each gathering is as predictable as a telephone directory, only not as interesting."  ( Times)


¿ For the eighth consecutive month, the National Association of Realtors revised its housing forecast downward. It now calls for a steeper-than-previously-anticipated drop of 10.8%.

¿ The United States of Subprime: "As America's mortgage markets began unraveling this year, economists seeking explanations pointed to 'subprime' mortgages issued to low-income, minority and urban borrowers. But an analysis of more than 130 million home loans made over the past decade reveals that risky mortgages were made in nearly every corner of the nation, from small towns in the middle of nowhere to inner cities to affluent suburbs." (free in The Wall Street Journal)


¿ The Blog Distributed Content Advertising Model.   

¿ Google's Evil Eye: "Does the Big G know too much about us?  A few months ago, a friend told me that he had stopped using Gmail. This seemed crazy. Gmail is free, it looks good, and you never have to delete anything. He thought it was a bad idea to entrust your personal communication to one company: 'You don't know what they do with your e-mail. Even if you delete it, it still exists on their servers.' Another friend, a lawyer, told me how Gmail exists in a murky privacy area. Because the Google servers 'read' your e-mail to place the ads that appear next to it, a note sent via Gmail may not be a protected communication in the same way that a letter sent through the postal service is." ( Slate)


¿ Fun discussion at Friday Night Jazz on Frank Zappa.

¿ Disintermediation Blues shoots up the charts:  "How fast will the music industry model come tumbling down." ( Good Morning Silicon Valley)

¿ Video: Bill Murray Gets His Facts Checked. (very funny)

That's all from the lovely Northeast, where autumn has finally arrived, and the leaves are on the verge of turning. Enjoy 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
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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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