Thursday, December 27, 2007

Today's Headlines

- As the US savings and loan crisis worsened in the 1980s, analysts tried to top each other’s estimates of the debacle’s cost to the federal government. Much the same thing is happening now with losses linked to subprime mortgages, with figures of $300 billion to $400 billion being bandied about. A more realistic amount is probably half or less than those exaggerated projections – say $150 billion. That’s hardly chicken feed, though not nearly enough to sink the US economy.
- Pakistan’s Bhutto Assassinated in Attack at Rally.
- The cost of borrowing dollars, euros and pounds fell, adding to evidence that measures by central banks to east the gridlock in money markets are succeeding.
- The Fed will reduce interest rates at every policy setting meeting “for the next two to three quarters,” PIMCO’s Paul McCulley said in a note released today to clients. The central bank will act to “truncate both the length and the severity” of a contraction in lending, McCulley said.
- Crude oil is rising to a one-month high after as investment fund speculation rose after an EIA repot showed US inventories fell more than expected.
- Wheat fell to a two-week low as rising production in Argentina, the world’s fourth-largest exporter of the grain, eased speculation by investment funds for further price gains.
- Sotheby’s(BID), the world’s second-largest auction house, sold about 46% more art this year as US, Russian and Asian collectors bid up prices for contemporary artists such as Francis Bacon and Jeff Koons.
- Cirrus Logic(CRUS), the maker of computer chips for Bose Corp. and Pioneer Corp., rose more than 5% on the Nasdaq after a fund founded by billionaire George Soros boosted its stake in the company almost sevenfold.
- Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargeaves said Apple Inc. will meet or exceed his earnings estimates, the Mac will continue to take market share and that Apple is still a good buy over $200.

Wall Street Journal:
- Even as plasma and LCD television screens flew off the shelves before Christmas, manufacturers were starting to roll out a new technology that they predict will produce the next generation of mass-market video displays.

- Apple’s new price target: $300.
- Vestas Wind Systems Gets Order From AES For 52 Turbines.

- Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey will sign into law a bill he sponsored that restricts paroled sex offenders from surfing the Internet.

- European Central Bank council member Guy Quaden said the financial-market turmoil has yet to have a major effect on Europe’s economy, citing an interview.

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