Friday, February 26, 2010

Nordic Combined Bests Market

The market ended the week with fractional gains,and volume for the month was light-down 8.3% from January's.It is a market without conviction,waiting to see what Washington and Brussels will do about the issues of the day,and concerned about discouraged consumers and weak housing numbers.The S&P futures were up slightly this evening,but next week's performance will hinge on the employment report for February.
The U.S. Nordic Combined skiers had plenty of conviction,however,moving into the uncharted territory of Olympic medals.Bill Demong took the gold in the large hill competition,while Team U.S.A. won silver in the team event and Johnny Spillane earned three silver medals in the three contests.The Americans have ended European domination of the Nordic Combined,which has to be one of the more satisfying achievements at the Vancouver Olympics for U.S. fans.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bode Miller Medals Again

Bode Miller,the U.S. skier who washed out at the Torino games four years ago,won a silver medal in the Super G event at Whistler,B.C. today.Miller had previously won the bronze in the Downhill race at these games.Gold in the Super G went to Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal,and American Andrew Weibrecht took the bronze.Svindal described it as an awesome day.Unless you live in the mountains,there's no way you can be a skier without your family helping you out,Svindal said.His mother died when he was little,but his father has been at his side since then.It was good to have him there today,jumping up and down when Aksel crossed the finish line a victor.
As for Miller,he thought his two-year old daughter was with him in spirit.He wasn't sure how she would have responded to all the drama of the race scene.She changed his life so much,surely the medals may be said to be hers also in a special way.The theme of the day seemed to be how important their families were to the skiers.The Olympics can remind us all of so many things.
The S&P futures mirrored the good skiing results,being up 0.60 early this evening.For the week,the S&P was up 33.66.The U.S. dollar is up about 4% for the year.Inflation remains very low,with the core Consumer Price Index dropping for the first time since 1982.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Fever

Olympic fever is setting in as the Vancouver games get underway and it's a long weekend in the U.S.NFL football is over and the snow is piled high in many areas.Business seems a million miles from every one's minds except the games' sponsors such as Visa and Verizon.They are in their own competition:Visa with Mastercard and American Express;Verizon with AT&T.As long as AT&T is allied with Apple,which is for the foreseeable future,it's in a very strong position.It doesn't have to worry too much about Verizon.Visa used to slam American Express all the time.It will be interesting to see what their line is for these games.As a processing company,it doesn't have the economic sensitivity of an American Express,which has to worry about defaulting consumers.
Greece was the first team to enter BC Place,the opening ceremony venue.Its own debt problems have dominated financial headlines this week,and will probably do so next week as well.Its European neighbors haven't yet finalized an aid package,so the market will still have that uncertainty to contemplate.In the meantime,let's all have a low-stress weekend.We'll cross the icy bridge when we come to it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Debt Crisis From Europe

The S&P was down 0.7 for the week,making for a total loss of 4.2 with last week.Until the Europe situation resolves,its hard to see any real progress being made.There is an atmosphere of crisis,whether or not the economics of European debt really impact the U.S. or not.That doesn't matter.There's a perception that it might.It might even be a harbinger for the American economy.Investor's Business Daily says the market is in a correction.Many other analysts thought the first half of 2010 could be the roughest part.With some good internals in today's employment report and a promising ISM manufacturing survey,it would indeed seem we are in a correction,not another leg down.There is enough strength in the numbers to suggest we aren't going back down to the lows of last March.There probably won't be another Lehman weekend.All we have to handle this weekend is a lot of snow on the car in the Mid-Atlantic region.That's achievable.