Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning

US Stocks are basically flat, with the DJIA up about 3 points. Later this afternoon, earnings season continues when Apple and Texas Instruments report earnings after the close. CIT shares are active this morning, up about 8% t0 1.22 after activist Carl Icahn offered financing that would be friendlier to small-time bondholders - yet to be seen is the effect on stockholders.

New investing website aims to share investing ideas for free, and allows people to piggyback "genius" traders for a small fee.
Daniel Carroll, who started investing when he was 15, thinks he has a way to let average investors learn about investing while experts manage the money. In 2008, he started KaChing, a Web site where 400,000 amateur and professional investors manage virtual portfolios. Others have logged on to see what the investors on the site are doing and make the same trades in their own real portfolios.

NYPost says that Blackstone is having trouble raising money for a new fund.
Sources tell The Post that despite hopes of raising a fund as large as $20 billion or more, Blackstone's tally thus far has reached at most $9 billion since fundraising began in early 2008.

WSJ op-ed on the largest insider trading case since Ivan Boesky.
The most arresting part of the case is the prominence of the alleged conspirators, led by fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, and including executives at a well known hedge fund and employees at Intel, IBM and McKinsey. (A tipster from Moody's is mentioned in the complaint but hasn't been charged). Mr. Rajaratnam founded the Galleon Group and made himself rich as he became a leading technology investor.

Bitter fights among the country's energy companies, as they posture before possible "climate" legislation.
Producers of natural gas are battling their erstwhile allies, the oil companies. Electrical utilities are fighting among themselves over the use of coal versus wind power or other renewable energy. Coal companies are battling natural gas firms over which should be used to produce electricity. And the renewable power industry is elbowing for advantage against all of them.

The debate over the falling dollar continues, but domestic exporters love it...
Mr. Stevenson’s family-owned company, Eastman Machine, has been making cutting tools for the textile industry for 120 years. A year ago, in the depths of the financial crisis, Mr. Stevenson had to lay off a dozen workers, but the dollar’s almost 20 percent decline since March has made his goods much more competitive overseas. Next month, Mr. Stevenson hopes to sign a multimillion-dollar deal in Europe that could enable him to rehire his workers.

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