Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Searching for a bottom

Morning News of Note:
  • Hurricane Wilma: Hurricane Wilma has been upgraded to a Category 5
  • GOOG: 'Splogs' Roil Web, and Some Blame Google Spam, long the scourge of email users, rapidly has become the bane of bloggers too. Spammers have created millions of Web logs to promote everything from gambling Web sites to pornography. The spam blogs -- known as "splogs" -- often contain gibberish, and are full of links to other Web sites spammers are trying to promote. Because search engines like those of Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. base their rankings of Web sites, in part, on how many other Web sites link to them, the splogs can help artificially inflate a site's popularity. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Telecom: Wireless May Be Bells' Ace in the Hole REPORTS OF TELECOM'S DEATH may be exaggerated. EBay's $2.6 billion purchase of Luxembourg start-up Skype has fueled fears that the Internet will make phone calls free. That's hurt shares of U.S. phone companies like Verizon and SBC, which just hit new 52-week lows and have lagged the Standard & Poor's 500 by as much as 47 percentage points over the last five years. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • US Economy: Fed Gov Ferguson says measured rate path should cont for now; oil shock stresses need to monitor incoming data; growth been solid even with high oil prices; GDP will be cut 1% in 2005 and 50bps in 2006 due to oil prices; economic outlook solid; high energy prices may be quite long lasting (Tuesday)
  • JNJ GDT: J&J Is Weighing Its 'Alternatives' On Guidant Deal Johnson & Johnson publicly signaled to Guidant Corp. that their pending merger deal is in jeopardy, a possible prelude to renegotiation of terms or even dissolution of the pact. During a conference call announcing third-quarter earnings yesterday, Johnson & Johnson Vice Chairman Robert Darretta declared for the first time publicly that management is considering "alternatives under our merger agreement." (Full Story) WSJ

Market Comments: Mixed bag of earnings last night. MOT and YHOO were the standouts on the upside, while INTC and GILD reported in-line quarters but saw their stocks sell off.

The market declined big in early trading, but has since clawed its way back. Yesterday's close was terrible, so let's hope today shows the mirror opposite. So far, the financials have held in positive territory, which should help support the market.

Energy stocks continue to be sold in earnest. I tend to think that energy is still in a bull market, and that during bull markets is when you experience the sharpest corrections. That shakes the bulls' confidence, and allows the trend to continue. Similar to what the homebuilders experienced over the last few years.



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