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Feb 27, 2013

White House Counts on G.O.P. to Bend as Cuts' Effects Are Felt: NYT | Global Update February 27, 2013.:

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
February 27, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT

Global Update


White House Counts on G.O.P. to Bend as Cuts' Effects Are Felt

While President Obama's team believes Republicans will be blamed as the effects of cuts emerge, Mr. Obama risks the possibility that Americans will shrug at the slow-rolling reductions.

20 Afghan Police Officers Killed in Two Attacks

One of the attacks was a mass poisoning in Ghazni Province that killed 17 people and was carried out by men described as Taliban infiltrators.

Pope Evokes Difficult and Joyous Moments in Final General Audience

Tens of thousands of believers gathered in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Pope Benedict XVI a day before his resignation takes formal effect.

Video: Into the Blue

Michael Becker, a researcher from McGill University, takes a camera along during a dive to the bottom of an Antarctic lake.

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Is Mexico the Comeback Kid?

Despite its problems, our neighbor to the south is an unlikely hub of innovation.

Its Economy Slowed, India Faces Critical Budget Decisions

The consequences of the budget plans are especially high because India, once a darling of global investors and an anointed power-in-waiting, is struggling to regain its lost luster.

Iran and Six Nations Agree to Continue Nuclear Talks

The talks ended with an agreement to convene technical experts in Istanbul in March and return to Almaty for full negotiations in April, a senior Western diplomat said.

Three Dead in Shooting at Swiss Factory

The shooting, the second such incident in Switzerland this year, could revive the nation's debate over gun control.
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Get Your Wrists Ready for Smartwatches

Here come the smartwatches, and a motley bunch they are. Some require daily charging, others use watch batteries. When it comes to design, well...

With 2 Ships Out of Commission, Shell Suspends Arctic Drilling

After a series of embarrassing accidents in its efforts to drill exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska, Royal Dutch Shell said it would not return to the Arctic in 2013.

Regulators Block Ryanair's Latest Attempt to Buy Aer Lingus

As the European Commission blocked the move for competitive reasons, Ryanair reiterated that it would appeal the decision in court.

Now on 'Idol,' Viewers Can Tweet While Contestants Sing

"American Idol" is now encouraging viewers to tweet as a way to make live viewing more attractive.
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Yahoo Issues a Statement on Work-at-Home Ban

Yahoo, which caused a controversy when it issued a policy banning employees from working remotely, tried to distance itself from the broader conversation about workplace flexibility.

N.F.L. Will Expand Concussion Efforts During Games

Starting next season, all 32 teams will use a concussion assessment tool available on an iPad, and independent neurological consultants will join team doctors on the sideline.

Suddenly, Barcelona Looking All Too Human

Real Madrid beat its archrival, 3-1, in Barcelona, less than a week after the Catalan club lost in the Champions League.

Wave of Concussions Hits the N.H.L.

Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, the N.H.L.'s reigning most valuable player, is among 11 players believed to have sustained concussions in the past two weeks.

Norwegians 1-2 at Worlds

Therese Johaug of Norway beat her teammate Marit Bjoergen in the 10-kilometer individual freestyle.

Conservative Justices Voice Skepticism on Voting Law

Tough questioning from conservative members of the Supreme Court, which is hearing a challenge to a central requirement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, suggested the provision could be in danger.
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Attacked at 19 by an Air Force Trainer, and Speaking Out

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On First Day at Pentagon, Hagel Warns of Budget Cuts

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the looming cuts were one of the biggest challenges facing his department, but that the United States must continue to "engage with the world."
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Turkey's Foray Into the Fertile Crescent

Ankara's undeclared policy for a post-Assad Mideast is a cordon sanitaire across the northern Fertile Crescent.
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Get Off of Your Cloud

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Grand Old Parity

As the gulf between rich and poor grows ever wider in America, Republicans should stand for policies that help the average Joe and Jane.

Wall Street at Close Report February 27, 2013: U.S. stocks surge in best day since Jan. 2

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)A powerful U.S. stock rally Wednesday lifted indexes to their best session since Jan. 2, as a positive report on housing and the Federal Reserve chief’s commitment to stimulus overrode concerns that had battered stocks earlier in the week. 

The advance brought indexes closer to their record highs, levels that should only prolong the ongoing rally by luring retail investors back to the market, said strategists. 

“Investor psyche at the retail level still seems fragile, so this is an important juncture for the stock market. The next week or two could tell the story for the coming months,” said Brad Sorensen, Schwab director of market and sector research. Read more on stocks nearing their pre-crisis records.

After fluctuating early on, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +1.26% climbed more than 200 points and ended up 175.24 points, or 1.3%, at 14,075.37. All but one of the Dow’s 30 components advanced.

The session was the strongest since the blue chips clocked a 300-plus-point gain on Jan. 2, the first trading day of the year. Wednesday also marked the first back-to-back days of triple-digit gains since the year’s start. 

“Did the market forget who the chief cook and bottle washer is? If they did, Ben has set them straight and the market loves it,” Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. said of the market reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Read more on Bernanke’s second day of testimony.

Dow Reaches Five-Year High
Stocks roared higher for a second straight day, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a five-year high, as concerns over Europe's debt crisis melted away. Barron's Brendan Conway reports on The News Hub. Photo: Getty Images. 

The S&P 500 index SPX +1.27% added 19.05 points, or 1.3%, to 1,515.99. All 10 sectors were higher, led by industrials and materials sectors. It was also the S&P 500’s best day since Jan. 2. 

Setting a positive tone for the day’s trading, the National Realtors Association reported contracts to purchase previously owned homes rose 4.5% in January. Read more on pending home sales.
“Psychologically, it’s a big help,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird & Co., of the latest indication of a strengthening housing market.

‘Did the market forget who the chief cook and bottle washer is? If they did, Ben has set them straight and the market loves it.’

Elliot Spar, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
“The market is showing really good resilience right around 1,495 on S&P 500, that’s been really good support,” said Bittles. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP +1.04% climbed 32.61 points, or 1.04%, to 3,162.26, its best day since Feb. 5. 

The CBOE Volatility Index VIX -12.69%  , known as the “fear index,” fell 13% to 14.73. 

For every stock sliding, about three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 673 million shares traded. Composite volume topped 3.5 billion. 

The past two days of gains wiped out Monday’s drop, when concerns that political gridlock in Italy would cause a reprise of the euro-zone crisis, plus worries about U.S. budget cuts, sent stocks to their worst day since November.

Getty Images Enlarge Image
Federal Chair Ben Bernanke on Wednesday testified for a second day on Capitol Hill, telling House members that the central bank has the necessary tools to reduce stimulus and avoid a spike in inflation, but that the Fed’s ultra-low-rate policy is still needed “to help support housing, automobiles and other parts of the economy.”. Read: Bernanke defends low rates in House hearing.
“Last week, there was some fear in the market that the Fed was nearing an end to its quantitative easing program, but he [Bernanke] came in this week and said ‘that’s not the case,’ and quantitative easing has been a major support for the stock market the last four years,” Bittles added. See blog coverage of Bernanke testimony.
On Tuesday, the Fed chief had reiterated his support for continuing the central bank’s $85 billion-per-month bond buying program, a sentiment that helped power the Dow average to a triple-digit gain. He also told a Senate panel that automatic federal budget reductions slated to start on Friday would put a “significant” weight on the economy if lawmakers can’t reach an agreement to avoid the cuts. Read more on Bernanke's support for bond-buying program.
Bittles, however, said the market is coming to the realization that the consequences of sequestration aren't as dire as first thought. 

“We’ve been increasing spending at a 14% clip each year, and now we cut back 2% and that’s supposed to be Armageddon? The Academy Awards were given to the wrong people this weekend. The Oscars should have been given to the people in D.C.,” he said. 

Ahead of Wednesday’s open, stock-index futures climbed modestly after the government reported that total orders for goods meant to last more than three years slid 5.2%. Taking out bookings for transport items such as airplanes, bookings for goods made to last more than three years climbed 1.9%. Read more on durable goods.
Among moving issues, Target Corp. TGT -1.45%   shares fell 1.5% after the discount retailer reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit. Inc. PCLN +2.57%   rose 2.6% after the online travel agency reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates. Read more on Target and Priceline earnings.
Apple Inc. AAPL -0.98% , the Nasdaq’s biggest component, slipped 1% after its shareholder meeting. Read more on Apple shareholder meeting.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

CNBC's Santelli gets it: 'Paper gold' suppresses the price of real gold: GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 27, 2013.

CNBC's Santelli gets it: 'Paper gold' suppresses the price of real gold

Submitted by cpowell on 01:19PM ET Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Section: Daily Dispatches
4:10p ET Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CNBC's Rick Santelli today sounded like a certified tin-foil hat wearer in GATA's peanut gallery during his interview of Frank Lesh of Chicago's FuturePath Trading. "Paper gold," securitized gold, pretty much defeats the purpose of investing in gold in the first place, Santelli said, insofar as it may be hard to tell if there really is any gold behind the paper.
Of course the creation of "paper gold" as part of a system of fractional reserve gold banking backstopped by central bank gold sales, leases, and derivatives is responsible for having held gold's price appreciation below the nominal rate of inflation, responsible for having created a vast supply of imaginary gold to deceive investors with and maintain central bank power.
That is, anyone buying paper gold in the hope of price appreciation might as well flush his money down the toilet, as such purchases may not take any real metal off the market.
Santelli's exchange with Lesh is three minutes long, is headlined "Santelli: ETFs and the Creation of 'Gold Paper,'" and can be viewed at CNBC's Internet site here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Activist Investors Dangle Promise of Higher Bid for REIT: DealBook P.M. Edition February 27, 2013.:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Activist Investors Dangle Promise of Higher Bid for REIT An activist hedge fund and the Related Companies offered to raise their takeover bid for CommonWealth REIT on Wednesday to about $2.26 billion, aiming to put additional pressure on the real estate company.
Corvex and Related Ratchet Up Pressure on a Big REIT Corvex Management, a hedge fund run by Keith Meister, and The Related Companies, led by Jeff T. Blau, have filed a lawsuit to block a proposed stock offering by CommonWealth REIT and reiterated a proposal to buy the real estate company.
A Race Against Loeb That Left Ackman Breathless In an excerpt from his article in the latest Vanity Fair, William D. Cohan recounts what was supposed to have been a friendly long-distance bike ride involving William A. Ackman and Daniel S. Loeb in the Hamptons. It didn't end well for Mr. Ackman.
In the Hunt for Capital, Private Equity Executives Outnumber Investors Networking at the Super Return conference in Berlin is an exhausting process, as private equity firms set up shop in private rooms, at tables and even at the bar in the conference hotel
Fortress Profit Doubles on Rising Investment Values The Fortress Investment Group said its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter, to $107 million, as the value of its investments showed solid growth. For the year, the firm reported earning $278 million.
Regulators Block Ryanair's Latest Attempt to Buy Aer Lingus As the European Commission blocked the move for competitive reasons, Ryanair reiterated that it would appeal the decision in court.
Breakingviews: Private Equity's Tax-Advantaged Rivals Christopher Swann says that master limited partnerships received a tax break decades ago when U.S. oil production was declining. Now, with oil output booming, is this a wasteful subsidy?
Buzz Tracker
Are We in Danger of a Beer Monopoly? In an article in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson examines what game theorists call a "trigger strategy," and how it applies to pricing in the beer industry in general – and Anheuser-Busch InBev's proposed buyout of Grupo Modelo in particular.
Economic Reports Data to be released on Thursday includes the Chicago P.M.I. for February.
Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to report results on Thursday include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Cablevision, Kohl's, Sears and Gap.
In the United States On Thursday, Hostess Brands will auction its Wonder and Beefsteak brands of bread.
Overseas On Thursday, European leaders will speak in London on the future of Europe.
Quotation of the Day
"Whenever you can buy assets from a government entity in Europe, you should do it."
David M. Rubenstein, the co-founder of the Carlyle Group, at the SuperReturn private equity conference.

Mike Kosares: Gold chart staging areas: GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 27,2013.

Mike Kosares: Gold chart staging areas

Submitted by cpowell on 08:52AM ET Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Section: Daily Dispatches
11:47a ET Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Despite the gloom and despair among retail gold investors, Mike Kosares of Centennial Precious Metals in Denver writes today, the price chart suggests that gold has simply entered another "staging area" similar to those that have developed throughout its long bull market.
Kosares notes in conclusion: "During the most recent fiscal year (September) for the Central Bank Gold Agreement, the central banks sold a grand total of 4 tonnes of gold out of a 400-tonne allotment. In the real world of gold mobilizations, central banks bought 534.6 tonnes of gold -- the highest level of purchases in half a century. (And that's what we know about -- China tends to keep its activity in the gold market secret.) Central bank buyers are unlikely to see the recent selloff as a deterrent. Like their counterparts in the private sector, they are likely to see it as a buying opportunity."
Kosares' commentary is headlined "Gold Chart Staging Areas" and it's posted at Centennial's Internet site, USAGold, here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

5 Dividend Stocks That Can Feed on Global Growth, John Heinzl: Investors Daily Alert February 27, 2013.


Jim Jubak on
Which Is Best: Stocks, Gold, or Bonds?, Mary Anne and Pamela Aden
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