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Jul 28, 2010

RTTNews : Evening Market Wrap.- Stocks Dip As Beige Book Paints Lackluster Economic Picture - U.S. Commentary . July 28th., 2010

Evening Market Wrap Wed Jul 28 17:01 2010 

Commentary

Jul 28, 2010 Stocks Dip As Beige Book Paints Lackluster Economic Picture - U.S. Commentary Stocks posted notable losses on Wednesday, as the Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed some signs of a stalling economic recovery and the Commerce Department reported an unexpected drop in durable goods orders. The markets fell on the news, which continued to call into question the veracity of an economic rebound in the absence of government stimulus. Full Article

Economic News

Jul 28, 2010 Durable Goods Orders Fall For Second Straight Month In June Orders for manufactured goods meant to last for at least three years fell for the second consecutive month in June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, with the decrease partly due to a continued drop in orders for transportation equipment. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 MBA: Overall Mortgage Demand Slows As Rates Rise US mortgage activity slowed last week as rising interest rates made refinancing slightly less attractive, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. Still, the latest report from the MBA offered a glimmer of hope for the housing market. Purchase applications rose for a second consecutive week after hitting 13-year lows earlier this month. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Fed: Economic Activity Continues To Increase, But At Slower Pace The Federal Reserve's Beige Book report released Wednesday showed that overall economic activity has continued to increase since the previous survey, although it noted that economic activity in the Fed's Cleveland and Kansas City districts has held steady. Full Article

Earnings News

Jul 28, 2010 Boeing Q2 Profit Down 21%, Yet Beats View; Backs Full-year Forecast - Update Aerospace and defense major Boeing Co. (BA) reported Wednesday a decline in profit for the second quarter, as lower airplane deliveries and lower Network & Space Systems volume dragged down revenues. Quarterly earnings per share, however, came in above market projections, while top line missed. Further, the company backed its full-year earnings and revenue forecast. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 CVS Caremark Q2 Profit Drops; Cuts FY10 EPS View - Update Pharmacy services company CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) Wednesday reported a drop in profit in the second quarter, as sales decreased from last year owing partly to client contract terminations at the Pharmacy Services segment. Adjusted earnings missed Wall Street consensus estimate. Further, the company lowered its earnings forecast for 2010. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Sprint's Wider Q2 Loss Tempered By Subscriber Growth - Update Telecommunication service provider Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) reported Wednesday a loss for the second quarter that doubled from last year. Revenues slumped even as the company added wireless customers for the first time since 2007. However, adjusted loss per share for the quarter came in narrower than analysts' expectations by five cents, while quarterly revenues came in line with estimates. Full Article

Energy

Jul 28, 2010 Surprise Supply Build Knocks Down Oil Prices Oil prices fell for a second day, weighed down by an unexpected increase in US crude inventories and a drop in orders for durable goods. Meanwhile, the dollar fluctuated near its two-month low versus the euro. Full Article

Forex Basic

Jul 28, 2010 Dollar Falls Further Versus Surging Sterling The dollar failed to fight back versus the euro and extended its lowest levels since February versus the sterling Wednesday amid renewed concerns about the pace of the US economic recovery. A disappointing reading on the manufacturing sector raised speculation that the US economy is losing momentum amid lingering weakness in the jobs and housing markets. Full Article

Political News

Jul 28, 2010 Judge Blocks Controversial Parts Of Arizona Immigration LawA federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday blocking key parts of Arizona's tough new immigration law, as it was determined that the Obama administration is likely to succeed in showing that the provisions are preempted by federal law. While the overall law will still take effect Thursday, the ruling blocks some of the most controversial provisions. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 House Overwhelmingly Votes Against Resolution To Remove Troops From Pakistan Members of the House of Representatives shot down a resolution calling for the removal of U.S. troops from Pakistan by a wide margin on Tuesday, with the Congressmen unswayed by reports suggesting that the U.S. is conducting a secret war in the country. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 White House Argues Extending High-Income Tax Cuts Will Not Create JobsThe White House sought to make its case for allowing the high-income tax cuts enacted under President Bush to expire Wednesday, with Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, saying that the argument that extending the tax cuts is necessary for the economy is "simply wrong." "First, extending the high-income tax cuts would provide very little job creation in 2011," Romer said. "There is widespread agreement that the short-run economic benefits of high-income tax cuts are small." Full Article

RTTNews : Daily Stocks to Watch.- Silicon Image - strong results, outlook: ...July 28th., 2010

Daily Stocks to Watch Wed Jul 28 09:02 2010 

Stocks To Watch

Jul 28, 2010 Silicon Image - strong results, outlookChipmaker Silicon Image Inc (SIMG) posted a surprise quarterly profit, thanks to strong product sales and forecast third-quarter revenue above Street estimates. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Washington Banking - Strong quarter Washington Banking Co. (WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, said its operating profits increased more than 323% in the second quarter, even before a strong gain on acquisition. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Introducing RTT Growth & Value StocksThe Growth & Value Stocks service is designed with a disciplined approach of extensive fundamental analysis to cater swing traders and investors. The service identifies growth stocks that are generally overlooked and value stocks that are usually undervalued by the market. The growth and value stocks we select have significantly outperformed the broader market indices. Full Article

RTTNews Morning Market Briefing.- Stocks On Pace For Modest Decline At The Open - U.S. Commentary . July 28th., 2010

Morning Market Briefing Wed Jul 28 09:01 2010 

Commentary

Jul 28, 2010 Stocks On Pace For Modest Decline At The Open - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are posting to a modest slide at the open on Wednesday, as the markets are digesting some disappointment on the earnings front and a decline in durable goods orders while awaiting the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow futures down by 20 points. Full Article

Economic News

Jul 28, 2010 BoE's King: Considerable Distance To Reach Normal Interest RateThere is some considerable distance to travel before interest rates return to 'normal', Bank of England Governor Mervyn King told lawmakers in London on Wednesday. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 South Korean Current Account Surplus Is $5.04 BlnSouth Korea posted a seasonally adjusted current account surplus of $5.04 billion in June, the Bank of Korea said on Wednesday - up from the $3.82 billion surplus in May. The current account accumulated a surplus of $11.61 billion during the first six months of 2010. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Durable Goods Orders Fall In Line With Estimates In June Orders for manufactured goods meant to last for at least three years fell for the second consecutive month in June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, with the decrease partly due to a continued drop in orders for transportation equipment. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 MBA: Overall Mortgage Demand Slows As Rates Rise US mortgage activity slowed last week as rising interest rates made refinancing slightly less attractive, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. Still, the latest report from the MBA offered a glimmer of hope for the housing market. Purchase applications rose for a second consecutive week after hitting 13-year lows earlier this month. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Australia Inflation Rises Less Than Expected Consumer prices in Australia rose at a weaker than expected pace during the June quarter, which may allow the central bank to keep interest rates unchanged for another month. This follows data that showed that producer price inflation between April and June also came below expectations. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 IMF: China's Growth To Continue Strongly, Yuan UndervaluedThe Chinese economy is likely to grow strongly, although the inflation outlook appears benign, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, adding that its directors were split on whether the country's currency is undervalued. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 BoJ To Take Proactive Measures To Combat Deflation, Support Growth: Kamezaki The Bank of Japan will make utmost efforts proactively to escape deflation and guide the economy back to a sustainable growth path with price stability, policy board member Hidetoshi Kamezaki said on Wednesday. Full Article

Earnings News

Jul 28, 2010 Norfolk Southern Q2 profit jumps 59%, beats StreetTuesday, Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) reported a 59% rise in second-quarter profit, as revenues grew 31% from the past year. Both earnings and revenues came in above the Street view. The company attribute the growth in revenue to a 22% increase in traffic volume, as well as higher prices. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Aflac Q2 profit up 85%, beats estimateTuesday, Aflac Inc. (AFL) posted a 85% surge in profit for the second quarter, helped by a stronger yen. Both operating earnings and revenues, which grew 15.5%, came in above the Street view. Further, the company also provided earnings outlook for the third quarter and for the full year. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Broadcom Q2 profit soarsTuesday, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) said its second-quarter profit zoomed on higher demand for broadband and mobile and wireless products. Revenue for the period surged over 53% from the past year. Looking ahead, the company said it expects third-quarter total net revenue to rise 6% to 12% sequentially, as demand for communications solutions and market remain strong. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 WellPoint Q2 profit up 4%, beats StreetWednesday, WellPoint Inc. (WLP) reported a 4% climb in second quarter profit, helped by lower claims costs. Operating revenue, which excludes investment gains or losses, declined 7% year-over-year. Earnings per share came in above the Street view. Looking ahead to the full year, the company updated its guidance. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 ACE Q2 profit rises 27%, beats StreetTuesday, ACE Ltd., (ACE) reported a 27% rise in second-quarter profit, aided mainly by lower realized losses. Earnings came in above the Street view. Net premiums earned dipped 1.2% year-over-year. Looking ahead, the company reiterated its earlier guidance for the full year. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Aetna Q2 profit up 42%;raises FY10 view; inks deal with CVSTuesday, Aetna, Inc. (AET) reported a 42% growth in profit for the second quarter, despite a 1.4% dip in revenue, helped by higher net realized capital gains and lower healthcare costs. The company also lifted its guidance for the full-year 2010, citing improved performance in the first half of 2010. In addition, Aetna announced that it has signed a long-term contract for its pharmacy benefit management or PBM, business to be run by CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS). Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 ArcelorMittal turns to profit in Q2; plans to spin-off stainless steel unitWednesday, ArcelorMittal (MT) said it returned to a profit in its second quarter, reflecting one-time gains, as well as a 43% growth in sales on higher production. Earnings came in above the Street view, but revenue fell short. The company attributed the sales growth to higher volumes and average steel selling prices primarily driven by higher raw material prices. In addition, Arcelor Mittal also said it is planning to to spin-off its stainless steel business. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 CVS Caremark profit declines 7%, cuts FY10 EPS viewWednesday, CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) reported a 7.3% slide in profit for the second quarter, as revenue dipped over 3%. Looking ahead to the full year, CVS lowered its adjusted earnings per share guidance. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Boeing Q2 profit down 21%, yet beats StreetWednesday, Boeing Co. (BA) posted a 21% decline in second-quarter profit, hurt by lower revenue from both its commercial airplane and defense businesses. Total revenue decreased about 9% year-over-year. However, earnings came in above the Street view. Looking ahead to the full year, the company backed its earlier outlook. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Southern Co. profit rises 6.7%Wednesday, Southern Co. (SO) said its second-quarter net income rose 6.7% from the year-ago period, helped by warm weather and an improvement in industrial activity. Net revenues rose 8.3% to surpass the Street view. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Coca-Cola Enterprises Q2 profit rises 14%, beats Street; guides FY10 EPS above consensusWednesday, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) reported a 13.7% rise in profit for the second quarter, despite a 0.5% dip in revenue, helped by lower costs. Adjusted earnings came in above the Street, while revenue fell short of expectations. Further, the company guided its full-year earnings above the current estimate of analysts. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Newmont Mining Q2 profit more than doubles, yet misses StreetWednesday, Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) reported over a two fold rise in profit for the second quarter, as rise in gold price boosted sales by over 34%. However, adjusted earnings came in below the Street view. The company also boosted its quarterly dividend by 50% to 15 cents a share. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Comcast Q2 profit down 8.6%Wednesday, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) posted a 8.6% dip in profit for the second quarter, in part due to costs related to the NBC Universal joint venture, although revenue went up about 6% year-over-year. Adjusted earnings per share came in line with the Street view, while revenue surpassed expectations. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Praxair Q2 profit rises 24%, beats Street; lifts FY10 EPS viewWednesday, Praxair Inc. (PX) reported a 24% rise in profit for the second quarter, as revenue grew over 18% on strong demand across the South American and Asian markets. Both earnings and revenue came in above the estimate of analysts. Looking ahead, the company boosted its earnings outlook for the full year to a level above the Street view. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Sprint Q2 loss widens, despite higher subscriber countWednesday, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) said its second quarter loss widened, as revenue dipped about 1.4% from the previous year. However, the company claimed that it gained a net 111 thousand subscribers in the period, compared to a loss of 257 thousand a year earlier. Full Article
Jul 28, 2010 Corning Q2 profit rises 49%Wednesday, Corning Inc. (GLW) reported a 49% rise in second-quarter profit, as revenue grew 23% from last year on higher sales for glass for LCD panel used in televisions and mobile phones. Full Article

Todays WS Events

Jul 28, 2010 Visa Q3 10 Earnings Conference Call At 5:00 PM ET Visa, Inc. (V) will host a conference call at 5:00 PM ET, to discuss Q3 10 earnings results, on July 28, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on at http://investor.visa.com
Jul 28, 2010 Dominion Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET Dominion Resources, Inc (D) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results and other matters of interest to the financial community. To access the live webcast, log on at www.dom.com/investors. To participate a call, dial (866) 710-0179 (US) or (334) 323-9872 (International); passcode for the call is "Dominion." A replay of the call will be available by dialing (877) 919-4059 (US) or (334) 323-7226 (International) using PIN is 70491356
Jul 28, 2010 Waters Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET Waters Corporation (WAT) will host a conference call at 8:30 AM ET, to discuss Q2 10 earnings results, on July 28, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on at www.waters.com
Jul 28, 2010 Aflac Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET Aflac Inc. (AFL) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results & the outlook for 2010. To access the audio webcast, log on at aflac.com
Jul 28, 2010 Newmont Mining Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:30 AM ET Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) will host a conference call at 9:30 AM ET, July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.newmont.com To hear the live call, dial 888-566-1822 (US) or 312-470-0189 (International) with passcode Newmont. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing 888-662-6653 (US) or 402-220-6417 (International) with Passcode 2010.
Jul 28, 2010 Boston Properties Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET Boston Properties Inc. (BXP) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.bostonproperties.com The call can also be accessed by dialing 877-706-4503 (US) or 281-913-8731 (International) with passcode 87005850. For replay of the call, dial 800-642-1687 (US) or 706-645-9291 (International) with passcode 87005850.
Jul 28, 2010 Boeing Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:30 AM ET Boeing Co. (BA) will host a conference call at 10:30 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.boeing.com/companyoffices/financial/
Jul 28, 2010 ConocoPhillips Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 11:00 AM ET ConocoPhillips (COP) will host a conference call at 11:00 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results. To access the webcast, log on at www.conocophillips.com/EN/investor
Jul 28, 2010 General Dynamics Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 11:30 AM ET General Dynamics Corp. (GD) Jay L. Johnson CEO, will host a conference call at 11:30 AM ET July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 financial results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.generaldynamics.com
Jul 28, 2010 Allegheny Technologies Q2 10 Earnings Conference Call At 1:00 PM ET Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) will host a conference call at 1:00 PM ET, July 28, 2010, to discuss its Q2 10 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.ATImetals.com

FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS : MarketWatch .- Industry - Financial Markets.-BBVA net profit falls 17% as bad loan costs rise. July 28th., 2010





INDUSTRY- FINANCIAL SERVICES


BBVA net profit falls 17% as bad loan costs rise  
By Barbara Kollmeyer MarketWatch


Spanish banking giant's profit declines in the second quarter as its home market remains weak. 


 
By William L. Watts MarketWatch


Bank of England Governor Mervyn King on Wednesday said the central bank isn’t ready to begin withdrawing monetary stimulus measures amid uncertainty over the durability of Britain’s economic recovery. 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL : China Real Time Report.- Smoggy Weather Gets Smoggier. July 28th., 2010

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Smoggy Weather Gets Smoggier
A mysterious case involving the death of a female panda at a zoo in eastern China after a leaky pipe caused it to inhale a lethal mix of gases has led police to detain a man who rented a nearby building.

Reuters
Quan Quan at the Jinan zoo in 2008
Police detained the 48-year-old man, identified only by his surname Yang, after they said crews disinfecting a building he rented adjacent to the dwelling of the panda, called Quan Quan, caused toxic gases – including chlorine, chlorine hydride, and carbon monoxide – to seep into the panda’s house through a leaky pipe, state media reported Wednesday.
Yang had rented the former air-raid shelter to grow mushrooms, Xinhua said, and had hired a work crew to disinfect the structure. It’s unclear whether Yang was responsible for the leaky pipe.
“It’s an extraordinary case and looks like an accident,” said Chang Jiwen, a scholar with the Institute of Law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, according to Xinhua.
Animal mistreatment at China’s zoos was spotlighted earlier this year after at least 11 Siberian tigers starved to death over the course of three months at a zoo in Shenyang, in northeastern in China.
Quan Quan was something of a celebrity. The 21-year-old panda had been dubbed a “heroic mother” in state media after giving birth to seven cubs. The species is among the world’s most endangered. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that only about 2,500 mature pandas remain in the wild.
– Brian Spegele



The Washington Post : Enzra Klein's Wonkbook. July 28th., 2010.

Wonkbook: DISCLOSE fails; Dems deny secret plans; no renewable standard in energy bill
After a final push from the White House, the DISCLOSE Act mustered 57 votes, failing to break a filibuster. Meanwhile, BP has detailed its plans for financing the Gulf's recovery from the oil spill; Harry Reid's energy bill lacks not only a price on carbon, but a renewable energy standard as well; and Dems deny they have a secret plan to pack the lame-duck session with big legislation. But then, they would deny that, wouldn't they?
It's Wednesday. Welcome to Wonkbook.
Top Stories
Garnering 57 votes, the DISCLOSE Act failed to break a filibuster, reports Dan Eggen: "Schumer vowed to try again after the August recess, and he said he is open to changes to attract GOP support. But Tuesday's vote effectively quashes any chance of enacting disclosure requirements for the 2010 midterms, which appear likely to include record expenditures by outside groups and corporations."
Pelosi upbraided Reid and Obama for not moving faster on climate change: http://politi.co/arxUSs
BP will spend $32.2 billion to clean up the Gulf, report Jad Mouawad and Clifford Krauss: "Although the new BP will be a leaner company that produces about 12 percent less oil than it does today, the moves do not amount to a radical transformation of the company, which has suffered a series of accidents in the last five years. Instead, they show how BP hopes to ensure it will survive this latest crisis and continue to compete on an equal footing with the world's top producers."
Democrats deny a secret plan to pass their agenda in the lame duck session, reports Michael O'Brien: http://bit.ly/cYcWfG
The final version of the Senate energy bill lacks a renewable energy standard, reports Andrew Restruccia: "Renewable energy advocates and environmentalists have been pushing for the inclusion of a renewables mandate in recent weeks, but Reid has said the votes are not there to pass such a measure. Asked why an RES was not included in the bill, a spokesman for Reid said the lawmaker 'believes that in light of the Republican stalling tactic, this bill has the best chance possible of getting out of the Senate' because it is 'a small, targeted package.' The spokesman also pointed to time constraints, noting the impending August recess."
Indie video interlude: PS I Love You, "Facelove".
Still to come: Financial lobbyists proliferate; the oil spill is clearing faster than expected; Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced the winners of the "Race to the Top" competition; and a dog drives a tractor.
Economy/ FinReg
A slew of former regulators are set to lobby following FinReg's passage, reports Eric Lichtblau: "According to the analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly 500 officials have gone through the 'revolving doo'" between government financial agencies and the private sector. Of that group, 148 former regulatory officials were registered to lobby the government last year or this year, representing virtually every regulatory agency. Executives at some leading law firms and lobbying shops said in interviews that they began increasing their hiring of former regulators in 2008, soon after the economic crisis hit, in anticipation of the current push for tougher regulations."
A study indicates that credit cards spread money from the poor to the rich: http://bit.ly/ciGBZv
A new paper from Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi concludes economic policies from 2008 and 2009 prevented a depression, reports Sewell Chan: "The economists argue that without the Wall Street bailout, the bank stress tests, the emergency lending and asset purchases by the Federal Reserve, and the Obama administration's fiscal stimulus program, the nation's gross domestic product would be about 6.5 percent lower this year..They estimate the total direct cost of the recession at $1.6 trillion, and the total budgetary cost, after adding in nearly $750 billion in lost revenue from the weaker economy, at $2.35 trillion, or about 16 percent of G.D.P."
The SEC is reaching out to business executives as it implements FinReg: http://bit.ly/biukQK
The unemployed are being politically radicalized by the fight over unemployment benefits, reports Annie Lowrey: "Among the biggest sites in the unemployment netroots is LayoffList, managed by Michael Thornton, a native of Rochester, N.Y. Thornton stared LayoffList in 2008; five months ago, he began writing articles and posting legislators' information. He now receives hundreds of emails and has logged more than a million hits. Thornton is finding that, rather than losing interest in politics since the end of the fight for extended benefits, the unemployed are "energized and motivated" and have started looking forward to the fall." Christina Romer is rumored to be thinking of leaving the CEA tolead the San Francisco Fed, reports Neil Irwin: "There are even more reasons that the San Francisco Fed might be interested in her: She is a first-rate academic, one of the leading scholars of macroeconomic history. She has deep ties to the bay area, having taught at Berkeley since 1988. And since coming to Washington at the beginning of 2009, she has gained considerable experience in the policy-making world, which she previously lacked. Add to that, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has a lot of respect for her, as do her Obama administration colleagues."
Cities and counties face further job and service cuts: http://bit.ly/90O5iM
Steven Pearlstein argues Obama can't afford to lose the fight over extending the Bush tax cuts: "It is the refusal to put any tax increase on the table that has impeded much-needed reform of the tax code and rendered impotent a bipartisan commission charged with figuring out how to rein in the budget deficit. And it is the tax bugaboo that stands in the way of an investment agenda to match the global challenges we face. If Obama fails to alter the political dynamic and finally slay the anti-tax dragon, it's game over for his economic agenda."
Ruth Marcus argues for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts: "Think back to the beginning of the Bush administration tax cuts. It seems almost impossible to believe, but the argument then was that the budget surplus was too large. There was, or so President George W. Bush assured us, ample cash to cut taxes for everyone and protect the Social Security surplus and set aside $1 trillion over the next decade for "additional spending needs" and pay down the national debt."
Adorable infants being adorable interlude: Illustrated baby naps.
Energy
The Gulf oil slick is dissolving far more quickly than expected, report Justin Gillis and Campbell Robertson: "The dissolution of the slick should reduce the risk of oil killing more animals or hitting shorelines. But it does not end the many problems and scientific uncertainties associated with the spill, and federal leaders emphasized this week that they had no intention of walking away from those problems any time soon. The effect on sea life of the large amounts of oil that dissolved below the surface is still a mystery."
The spill is cutting BP's tax bill by $10 trillion: http://bit.ly/bJSRHX
A team of federal investigators is preparing a criminal case against BP, reports Jerry Markon: "While it was known that investigators are examining potential violations of environmental laws, it is now clear that they are also looking into whether company officials made false statements to regulators, obstructed justice or falsified test results for devices such as the rig's failed blowout preventer. It is unclear whether any such evidence has surfaced."
Brad Plumer explains how global warming could effect migration patterns: "According to a 2007 World Bank report, the vast bulk of this migration is expected to take place within developing countries, with people moving from rural villages to urban centers. One big concern here is that places like Lagos or Dhaka are already swelling exponentially, and their infrastructure can barely keep up, which is why so many 'megacities' now sport massive slums. But there's also likely to be a fair amount of migration between countries--and the consequences there are much harder to predict. As the rising oceans chomp away at Bangladesh, for instance, as many as 15 million people may have to abandon their towns and villages by mid-century."
Nate Silver argues deficit concerns could make cap and trade a political necessity: http://bit.ly/avbrqv
Adorable animals operating heavy machinery interlude: A dog driving a tractor.
Domestic Policy
The Department of Education has selected eighteen finalists in the Race to the Top competition, reports Stephanie Banchero: "Some expressed disappointment Tuesday with the number of finalists, arguing some states did not adopt dramatic enough changes to earn placement on the list. Kentucky, for example, does not allow charter schools, a centerpiece of Mr. Duncan's education agenda. Mike Petrilli, of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, said only seven or eight states have strong applications and he worried Mr. Duncan would reward money to 'unworthy' states."
The war funding bill is heading to Obama's desk without education funding included: http://bit.ly/cIAsuG
The Arizona immigration law needs federal cooperation to be effective, reports Miriam Jordan: "Arizona is home to about 460,000 illegal immigrants, according to the DHS. If the new law goes into effect--a challenge by the Obama administration is pending before a judge--police could shower ICE with calls. Without its cooperation, police likely would have to release suspects, because the law doesn't give them the authority to detain an individual indefinitely based on suspicion of unlawful presence in the U.S."
Immigration reform proponents are focusing on smaller measures, reports Krissah Thompson: "That plan centers on lobbying hard for the passage of two bills: AgJobs and the Dream Act. AgJobs is a compromise between farmworker unions and agriculture business groups, which was negotiated more than five years ago and is intended to provide legal farm labor and protect the rights of immigrant workers. The Dream Act would give some undocumented students the ability to apply for permanent residency. Both bills have had Republican support in the past."
Congressional Democrats are split on moving forward with the DREAM Act: http://bit.ly/b6CLEW
Frank Micciche urges Obama to move fast to set up state health exchanges: "First, it should expedite the distribution of grants to study and design the exchanges, which would complement the work already accomplished by some states and jump-start it in others. Second, the administration should build sufficient flexibility into its mandates to allow states to determine which benefits their exchanges must offer. After all, each state has different needs."
Howard Gleckman defends the CLASS Act: http://bit.ly/dl9Oox
Melvin Dubofsky considers the role of labor in the Obama administration: "They again have a friend as labor secretary, Hilda Solis, who has implemented reforms that benefit workers and unions, and the president has reconstituted a full National Labor Relations Board that promises to be friendly to unions and truer to the original purposes of the National Labor Relations Act. For good reason, labor leaders have concluded that more is to be gained by working with and within the administration than by acting as a troublesome and threatening presence."
Closing credits: Wonkbook compiled with the help of Dylan Matthews and Mike Shepard.
-Ezra Klein

Money Morning : Beware of Muni Bonds. July 28th., 2010

July 28, 2010
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Defensive Investing: Beware of Municipal Bonds

[Editor's Note: Municipal bonds, also known as "munis," are an-almost-automatic addition to the portfolio of any investor who's looking for yield. But as Money Morning's Martin Hutchinson tells us in this latest installment of our "Defensive Investing" series, perhaps "munis" don't belong right now.]

By Martin Hutchinson, Contributing Editor, Money Morning


Of the speculative excesses that misguided monetary policy and a prolonged recession has caused, the one that poses the most danger to investor wealth is the financial bubble in state and local municipal bonds.

Municipal bonds - usually referred to as "munis" - are very popular portfolio plays because of tax advantages that, in effect, enhance their rates of return. There's also an allure because of their local nature: Investors can invest in specific bond issues that provided the money for projects such as schools, highways, bridges, hospitals or housing that actually affects the community in which the investor lives. That makes them a very tangible investment.

But there's a problem.

State-and-local-government finances have taken a bigger beating during this economic downturn than during any other recession since World War II. Even worse, that beating came after the easy money available during this stretch encouraged those same governments to venture well beyond any reasonable limits in terms of their borrowing. They're now stuck with a bigger-than-warranted debt load - which can't be covered by the property tax stream that's been reduced by record-level housing defaults.

The bottom line: At the present time, "munis" may not be the benign - or even alluring - investment that they've been in the past. In fact, thanks to continued fallout from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, some munis may be more akin to bombs than bonds - ticking away and just waiting to blow up your portfolio.

To understand why "muni" bonds may be dangerous, please read on...
Hutchinson on...
--
The CIVETS: Windfall Wealth From the 'New' BRIC Economies
--
The Global Double-Dip Recession: Which Markets to Hold… And Which Ones May Fold



An Anonymous Office in Houston Just Increased Your Potential Return

It's a modest office at 700 Louisiana Street, Houston. And while it opened for business on October 1st, it's already changed the way you and all investors could make money in the next year. Indeed, thanks to the business being done at this 25-person outpost of Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant, you could quadruple your money. Here's what's happening...

Dr. Copper's Diagnosis:
A Strong Recovery


By Jon D. Markman, Contributing Writer, Money Morning


As stocks have slipped lower over the last three months, copper has bucked the broad trend and broken the pattern of lower highs and lower lows it set in the spring.

After bottoming on June 7, the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN - which closely tracks copper futures - has gained more than 12.2%. In the same span, the Russell 2000 small cap stock index has lost 0.6%.

The red metal is nicknamed Dr. Copper for its ability to peer around the corner and act as a leading indicator for the global economy. And right now, the commodity with a Ph.D. in economics seems to be saying the future looks bright. Is the trend set to continue?

Read full story...





Question of the Week: Readers Respond to Money Morning's Investment Toolkit Query

By Kerri Shannon, Associate Editor, Money Morning


Success in the business world is most often achieved by those with a competitive edge.

That's why, here at Money Morning, helping readers find that edge for their investment toolkit is Job One. In the past week alone, we've introduced readers to two little-followed indicators that have big proven payoffs. The first was the Baltic Dry Index, a shipping index that provides a panoramic view of the global economy. And the second was the "Gold Spike Indicator," which helps gold investors time their purchases.

Shrewdly used, either (or both) of these indicators have the potential to provide investors with that sought-after competitive edge.

Read full story...

NYT: Business News.- Ex-Regulators Get Set to Lobby on New Financial Rules July 28th.,2010


Business News:

Ex-Regulators Get Set to Lobby on New Financial Rules
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Corporations are recruiting former regulators to help negotiate an avalanche of anticipated federal rules.

Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies
By DUFF WILSON
As public health priorities shift, anti-tobacco programs are losing out to the campaign against obesity.

Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries
By MATTHEW L. WALD
Utilities are developing storage batteries to smooth the flow of intermittent sources of power, like wind farms.

More Business News

Investopedia: Term of the day.- Volatility Arbitrage. July 28th., 2010

Investopedia Home

TERM OF THE DAY - JULY 28, 2010


Volatility Arbitrage  

What Does it Mean?
Trading strategies that attempt to exploit differences between the forecasted future volatility of an asset and the implied volatility of options based on that asset. Because options pricing is determined by the volatility of the underlying asset, if the forecasted and implied volatilities differ, there will be a discrepancy between the expected price of the option and its actual market price.



Investopedia Says...
A volatility arbitrage strategy is generally implemented through a delta neutral portfolio consisting of an option and its underlying asset. A long position in an option... Read more »

The Washington Post : Today's Highlights. July 28th., 2010


TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

'BP squad' assembles to probe oil spill
A team of federal investigators known as the "BP squad" is assembling in New Orleans to conduct a wide-ranging criminal probe that will focus on at least three companies and examine whether their cozy relations with federal regulators contributed to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, according...
(By Jerry Markon, The Washington Post)

House backs $37 billion in additional war funding
(By Perry Bacon Jr. and Ben Pershing, The Washington Post)

Red Line crash was inevitable, NTSB finds
'ONLY QUESTION WAS WHEN'
Board blames circuit failures, safety attitude

(By Ann Scott Tyson, The Washington Post)

Aretha Franklin, Condi Rice show each other a little bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T
(By Anne Midgette, The Washington Post)


POLITICS
The trying times of '02 could repeat for Rangel
The last time a congressman was put on trial before his congressional peers, he showed up late for his hearing, accused investigators of faking evidence and cracked lame jokes to break the tension.
(By Carol D. Leonnig, The Washington Post)

Bill on political ad disclosures falls short in Senate
DEMOCRATS SHY OF 60 VOTES
Setback for bid to curb corporate spending

(By Dan Eggen, The Washington Post)

Okla. GOP nominates Rep. Fallin for governor
(By Associated Press, The Washington Post)

House backs $37 billion in additional war funding
(By Perry Bacon Jr. and Ben Pershing, The Washington Post)

More Politics


NATION
Bill on political ad disclosures falls short in Senate
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation requiring fuller disclosure of the money behind political advertising, derailing a major White House initiative and virtually ensuring an onslaught of attack ads during this year's midterm election season.
(By Dan Eggen, The Washington Post)

Obama calls for more hiring of disabled
ADA's 20th anniversary brings House vote and executive order
(By Lisa Rein, The Washington Post)

Digital divide among groups of Latinos, study finds
(By Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post)

'BP squad' assembles to probe oil spill
Criminal inquiry to focus on three firms and their ties to regulators
(By Jerry Markon, The Washington Post)

Corrections
(The Washington Post)

More Nation


WORLD
Leaked documents all part of U.S. plot, Pakistani says
RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN -- From the deluge of leaked military documents published Sunday, a former Pakistani spy chief emerged as a chilling personification of his nation's alleged duplicity in the Afghan war -- an erstwhile U.S. ally turned Taliban tutor.
(By Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post)

From Israel, mixed signals on peace effort
Chief envoy stands firm on settlements amid talk of bold gestures
(By Janine Zacharia, The Washington Post)

Long wary of foreigners, Japan now needs them
(By Chico Harlan, The Washington Post)

Nation Digest
(The Washington Post)

House backs $37 billion in additional war funding
(By Perry Bacon Jr. and Ben Pershing, The Washington Post)

More World

METRO
Local Digest
Fairfax County officials moved Tuesday to ban smoking at all public bus shelters, eight months after Virginia's restaurant-and-bar smoking ban went into effect.
(The Washington Post)

Red Line crash was inevitable, NTSB finds
'ONLY QUESTION WAS WHEN'
Board blames circuit failures, safety attitude

(By Ann Scott Tyson, The Washington Post)

Gun sales led to break in Md. double slaying
Suspect indicted; raids' finds revealed other crimes, alarming photos
(By Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post)

LOTTERIES
July 27
(The Washington Post)

For many, outages aren't just inconvenient
Lack of electricity can put those with medical needs in peril
(By Stephanie Lee and Rick Rojas, The Washington Post)

More Metro

BUSINESS
Long wary of foreigners, Japan now needs them
TOKYO -- Her new country needs her, her new employer adores her, and Joyce Anne Paulino, who landed here 14 months ago knowing not a word of the language, can now say in Japanese that she'd like very much to stay. But Paulino, 31, a nurse from the Philippines, worries about the odds. To stay in J...
(By Chico Harlan, The Washington Post)

'BP squad' assembles to probe oil spill
Criminal inquiry to focus on three firms and their ties to regulators
(By Jerry Markon, The Washington Post)

The ruling and the bill
(The Washington Post)

How many lack health coverage? Census finds states vary widely.
(By Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post)

Bill on political ad disclosures falls short in Senate
DEMOCRATS SHY OF 60 VOTES
Setback for bid to curb corporate spending

(By Dan Eggen, The Washington Post)

More Business


TECHNOLOGY
Obama calls for more hiring of disabled
As the country marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act this week, the Obama administration and Congress are taking steps to give the disabled greater access to federal jobs and technology.
(By Lisa Rein, The Washington Post)

DIGEST
(The Washington Post)

Digital divide among groups of Latinos, study finds
(By Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post)

More Technology


SPORTS
NASCAR team owner Roush injured in Wisconsin plane crash
MILWAUKEE -- NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was in serious but stable condition after walking away from a plane crash in Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
(By CHRIS JENKINS, AP)

Blue Jays continue to dominate Orioles
Bautista hits two homers, drives in five runs in Toronto's 8-2 victory
(By Jeff Zrebiec, The Washington Post)

Connecticut closes in on Mystics in the East
Half-game separates the teams following the Sun's 88-78 win
(By Associated Press, The Washington Post)

Batista wins fans, game for Nationals
Initially booed as Strasburg's replacement, 39-year-old pitcher leads 3-0 win
(By Gene Wang, The Washington Post)

MLS All-Stars vs. Manchester United
(The Washington Post)

More Sports

STYLE
Drawing lightness from dark
On Saturday, John Callahan died at 59. He was among the most brilliant and original cartoonists who ever lived. If you never heard of him, it is because he assured his semi-obscurity by venturing into some of the most unnerving, taboo areas imaginable, in a fearless pursuit of humor.
(By Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post)

At Pepco, the power to relate
Andre Francis works the Web, trying to amp down customer complaints
(By Monica Hesse, The Washington Post)

Video games, more than a blip on orchestras' landscape
(By Anne Midgette, The Washington Post)

Black Keys blur genres in lightning DAR set
(By Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post)

Neil Finn & Crowded House: Intriguing mix of past, present
(By Chris Klimek, The Washington Post)

More Style


LIVE DISCUSSIONS
Online manners, memes and must-see videos -- The Web Hostess
A weekly chat about the best ways to kill time online. Our Web Hostess, Monica Hesse, sifts the Internet so you don't have to, searching for meaning, manners and the next great meme.
(Monica Hesse, washingtonpost.com)

Washingtology quiz show: Stump our experts
(Marc Fisher,John Kelly,Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, washingtonpost.com)

Free Range on Food: Staffers solve your cooking conundrums
(Free Rangers, washingtonpost.com)

The Reliable Source
(Reliable Source, washingtonpost.com)

White House Debriefing Live Video, 11 a.m. -- Submit questions now
(White House Debriefing, washingtonpost.com)

More Live Discussions


Bang for the tax buck
THE TAX CUTS passed under President Bush are about to expire. The deficit is at a once unimaginable level. In a saner political environment, that would counsel revisiting the sustainability of all the tax cuts. Certainly, given the yawning debt, there is no reason to extend the tax cuts for the...
(The Washington Post)

Reforming Metro
Safety and oversight have been lacking, but both are within the system's grasp.
(The Washington Post)

Ungovernable Japan?
America's most important Asian ally seems adrift. Don't panic yet.
(The Washington Post)