Good Sunday morning, and welcome to another edition of Weekend Reading. First, a look back at the week that just finished, then a look forward to the week ahead and, finally, a summary of articles and papers worth reading.
It was the first down week in ages for most of the major markets, even if the Nasdaq didn't go along. (See table below.) Nervousness about banks, weak earnings and a slowing of recent gains -- which have taken the markets up 25%-plus -- were all causes.
Next week looks like more of the churning same. We face more earnings reports, more chatter around the bank stress tests, a teetering auto sector, capital raises and a host of economic indicators. While that doesn't mean that the market will weaken materially, it does mean -- when combined with much higher equity levels -- that we likely will churn in place for a spell.
Turning to economic indicators, next week we will see the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, the Conference Board's April consumer confidence reading and the first-quarter GDP number. Other data set to be released include weekly jobless claims, March personal income and spending, and a report from the Institute for Supply Management on manufacturing activity.
As for earnings, the coming week will bring reports from Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Pfizer (PFE), Verizon (VZ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Viacom (VIA), Clorox (CLX), Kellogg (K) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL).
Finally, here are some articles and papers worth reading:
Editor's note: To access some of these stories, registration or a subscription may be required. Please check the individual links for each site's policy.
- How Bernie Madoff did it. (Fortune)
- The revenge of geography. (Foreign Policy)
- Hooray for Boring Banks. (Time)
- The recession is withering the alternative-energy business. (CFO Magazine)
- The capital well is running dry and some economies will wither. (Telegraph)
- Sharia finance, the Money that Prays. (London Review of Books)
- Chrysler bankruptcy not liquidation sign. (MarketWatch)
- The scary rise of the "empty creditor." (Slate)
- Off the Charts: A Recession That Is Already Setting Records. (The New York Times)
- Swine flu epidemic fear grows, world on alert. (Reuters)
- GM's Doomed Future. (Forbes)
- Crash of the Rocket Scientists. (Forbes)
- Bound to Burn: Carbon trading and the future. (City Journal)
- University endowments in trouble. (The New York Review of Books)
- Germany's high electricity prices. (The Economist)
- Have house prices hit bottom? (The Economist)
- Long Term Capital Management: a look back from an Insider. (FinanceProfessor)
- Can science save the oil sands? (Globe and Mail)
- Fear of Fire Sales and the Credit Freeze. (NBER)
- Experts and Their Records. (NBER)