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1. Canada August GDP Disappoints
By Marc Chandler
9:46 a.m. EDT

Canada reported that August GDP contracted by 0.1%, whereas the consensus expected a 0.1% increase. Small change for sure, but the sign is wrong. And it likely prevents the Canadian dollar from recovering from the recent slide that has brought it to a four-week low against the otherwise sagging U.S. dollar.

Although the U.S. reported a 3.5% expansion in third-quarter GDP yesterday on a preliminary basis, it is not clear that the Canadian economy has exited from its recession. The economy was flat in July before the 0.1% contraction in August. The weakness in the report was noteworthy in the oil and gas sectors, which contracted 2.3%. Manufacturing remains in the doldrums, contracting 0.7%. Some may attribute the weakness in manufacturing to the strength of the Canadian dollar, but the soft demand may be a bigger culprit. What strength there was in the Canadian economy stemmed from the fiscal assistance.

Many investors recognize that Canada is in better fiscal shape than the U.S., but the risk is being exaggerated somewhat. Yesterday, the S&P cut the province of Ontario's credit rating a notch due to the fiscal deterioration. Canada's national budget deficit is about 6% of GDP, and the government debt is about 64%.

The Canadian dollar's downside momentum see at the end of last week and earlier this week has eased. The US. dollar has found a near-term base near CAD1.0630-50. As this was just tested, the rule of alternation now suggests that the upper end of the new range may be tested -- this is seen near CAD1.0820-50. The data underscore the idea that Canada is lagging behind others in the recovery and in the ability to normalize policy. Key reports next week include employment and IVEY PMI for October and are expected to softened from the September readings.

No positions.


2. Callaway Golf Quarter on Par
By Jonathan Heller
10:08 a.m. EDT

Callaway ( ELY - Get Report) revenue was down 10.6% versus same quarter last year, in line with estimates. Ex nonrecurring items, loss of 20 cents, slightly ahead of recently revised downward company guidance. As stated in my Wednesday column, I was staying on sidelines until after earnings release. I've initiated a position this morning, with the stock down 5% today. It's now trading at just 1.25 times net current asset value. The fourth quarter will in all likelihood be ugly, but I'm looking ahead to 2010-2011.

Long ELY.


3. Continuing Claims
By Robert Marcin
11:41 a.m. EDT

Many talking heads have been cheering the drop in continuing unemployment claims on Bubblevision lately -- see the yellow line in the chart below. But jobless people are simply running out of benefits and entering the supplemental unemployment programs -- see the red line, Steve Liesman.

Continuing Claims, Extended Benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation
chart
Source: Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor; Defiance Asset Management

No positions.


4. Strong Quarter From Kellogg
By Gary Morrow
12:55 p.m. EDT

Kellogg ( K - Get Report) is up 2% this morning following its strong third-quarter report, with year-over-year net income up 6%, topping estimates. Kellogg also raised its guidance. The upside surprise earned the company an upgrade from Citi and a target bump from Goldman.

The good news sparked a powerful breakaway gap this morning that lifted Kellogg to new highs for the year, a strong follow-through to yesterday's pre-earnings 2.8% gain on its heaviest upside volume since late July. The two-day surge has left behind solid support between $51.00 and $51.50. Considering loday's broad selloff, it's likely this support will be tested soon. The strength of the rebound will indicate just how powerful today's breakout is.

K Daily (NYSE)
Kellogg
K chart
Source: TradeStation

I expect Kellogg to work higher in the coming weeks, with an initial upside target of last November's highs of $53.50. If Kellogg can maintain today's opening gap despite a big down day in the DJIA, it will keep its upside momentum.

No positions.


5. The Audacity of Nonsense
By Howard Simons
2:08 p.m. EDT

The White House is trumpeting a 650,000 "jobs created or saved" figure on its Website dedicated to this purpose. I scroll the mouse over the map, and I find here in the great state of Illinois, Uncle Sam has created 288 jobs. Not 287, not 289; no, 288.

By similar logic, I am responsible for saving the virginity of 30 million women.

As unemployment continues to rise, we know there has been no net job creation. None. Zip. Nada. Squat. Bupkes. What about the "jobs saved" category?

We can make a calculation only we know the basis for comparison: What would the employment picture have been in the absence of this action? Exact numbers must be required, at least for Illinois and its 288 jobs created. By the way, the Website shows we have received $21,650,000 in federal funds (presumably at no tax cost to us, as there is no "net receipt" category). That works out to $75,174 per "job created," which must mean each one of these new employees must be returning that much money or more in economic output to avoid a deadweight loss.

I could go on, but you get the picture. If I were on an arbitration panel and someone brought this in as an expert witness, I throw it back in his face so hard the paper would embed. Garbage such as this released in the public space reflects shoddy analysis and an attitude of contempt toward the citizenry.

Great; now I know who will get next year's Nobel in economics.

No positions were saved or created in this post..


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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.