Daily Investment Interpretations

November 11, 2010

2010-11-11 (Thursday Night):   The markets eked out gains today today: U.S. jobless claims fall, Chinese agency cuts U.S. sovereign rating. The NASDAQ Composite rose 15.8 points (0.62%) to end the day  at 2,578.78  The Dow increased 10.29 points (0.09%) to close at 11,357.04, and the S&P 500 advanced 5.31 points (0.44%) to end at 1,218.71. Oil rose to $88.35 a barrel, and Gold ended at $1,407. The VIX was unchanged at 18.47.   
    Writing on the Wall Why Being Financially Literate Isn't Enough - WSJ.com  
    Delamaide: Business-as-usual time for banks  
    How to smell a rat  
    30-year yield at 5-mo. high  
    Irish bonds hammered  
    Higher yields demanded on Portuguese debt  
    Stock market may get early Christmas  by Mark Hulbert
    An unfortunate needle points to war  
    Short-term thinking, long-term problems by Rex Nutting. 
"Short-term problems
• "Put America back to work. Too many Americans are unemployed, or underemployed. There are nearly 15 million people looking for work, and millions more are working reduced hours or have simply given up on getting a job. This is a tragedy for millions of families and for our country. We have idle resources, and we have unmet needs. All we lack is the will to put them to work.
• "Fix family finances. Household debt has gone from a long-term chronic problem to an acute emergency that must be addressed now. American families have lived beyond their means for decades. Millions have lost their homes, and millions owe too much on their credit cards. Not every family has debt problems, but far too many do. Savings have been devastated by the recession, so many people are spending less in attempt to build up their nest egg for retirement, college and other big expenses. It’ll take years to restore financial health.
• "Fix the housing market. Home prices are still too high to be affordable. About a quarter of homeowners owe more on their house than it’s worth. Efforts to prop up prices have failed. It’s past time for borrowers and lenders alike to recognize the serious errors they made and mark these loans to reality. It’ll be painful, but it’s better to rip the Band-Aid off than to let this drag on for another five or 10 years.

"Long-term problems
• "Stop burning carbon. Fossil fuels are killing our economy and our planet. The sooner we switch to renewable and earth-friendly energy, the better.
• "Restructure the economy. We got too much Wall Street, not enough Detroit. We’ve become great at manufacturing toxic financial products, while our industrial base has atrophied. Reversing these trends will take years, if not decades. We need to rethink the incentives that government gives American corporations to hollow out our country. If we want to remain one of the more productive economies in the world, we’ll have to invest in our people, our ideas and our physical infrastructure. And we’ll have to play hard ball with our trading “partners.”
• "Retool government. Government has been captured by lobbyists for corporate and other special interests, so it does lots of insane things that it should stop doing. At the same time, we’ve asked it to do more than we are willing to pay for. Contrary to some alarmists, the public debt isn’t an immediate crisis, but it is a problem in the longer run. The issues aren’t insurmountable if we can get the economy healthy again. And we don’t need to renege on the promises we’ve made to hundreds of millions of workers that they’ll have a secure retirement.
    "Solving our fiscal problems while we still have so much unemployment is impossible. Growth has to come first.
    Macy’s, Polo results hint at consumer pickup