Friday, December 25, 2009

Business Booming In Bethlehem

Christmas was a great success in Bethlehem this year,thanks to a peaceful atmosphere.Large numbers of tourists arrived,filling hotels and frequenting Palestinian shops.Palestinian boy scouts were able to march proudly,beating their drums.All too often in the past,the town of about 30,000 residents was an armed camp,discouraging all but a few visitors and wrecking the economy.Even from afar,Christians this year could contemplate their spiritual homeland in tranquility,focusing on its meaning rather than disturbing media reports.We pray for continued quiet there for the benefit of all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tech Sector Leading

The S&P futures were up 1.4 tonight,while the Dow futures were down 1.0,and the NASDAQ futures were up 17.0.Only the NASDAQ had a positive week,rising 0.98.Oracle and Research In Motion posted strong quarters,with growth on both the top and bottom lines.Commodities futures were up across the board this evening.At this point,the shortened week ahead looks promising for investors-especially tech investors.Tech could well lead the way the remainder of the year.It's earning it's leadership.Retail can only hope that shoppers will go online this weekend,since a major east coast snow storm will cost them brick and mortar sales.This can't be emphasized enough at this critical time in the holiday cycle.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Woods and Us

We are all fascinated by the Tiger Woods story.It isn't because he is different,but because he is so like us:creating a brand,then having to protect the brand from ourselves.In an image-obsessed world,the brand is all.If the brand falls apart,the re-branding must begin.Surely a coach has written a manual for that,too.We are all living in the Hollywood era,with a certain brand-consciousness that also draws from Madison Avenue.
Whether it's the allure of bad girls or pretzels that are too hard for our aging teeth,we shall quite possibly be scarred and have to repair the damage.The amount of damage varies from individual to individual,but the re-branders are busy all over America and the world tonight.They're watching Tiger,and they're getting ideas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dubai World Crisis Subsides

The debt crisis of Dubai World,a United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund,has quieted down for the moment.The fund will meet with its major creditors,all of them British banks,some time next week.Dubai World is about 60 billion in debt,and wants to restructure 26 billion of it now.This announcement calmed world markets and foreign leaders.The consensus now is that everything will be worked out.The S&P futures pointed up this evening,and next week will be light on U.S. data.As we sit here tonight,there isn't too much to fret over other than Christmas shopping and decorating,which is a fun sort of concern.Buy yourself a present if you can and check back with the markets Sunday night,when Asia begins trading.The retailers need you.