Friday, August 27, 2010

Mickelson Out,Woods Survives

Phil Mickelson,the number two golfer in the world,missed the cut Friday at The Barclays,the first leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs,at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus,New Jersey.Mickelson shot a poor 74 for a +4,his second missed cut of the season.Tiger Woods,ranked number one,shot a slightly better 73,but relied on Thursday's score of 65 to make the cut with a -4.Australian Jason Day,22,leads the tournament at -8,while Americans Vaughn Taylor and Kevin Streelman are second at -7.At the LPGA'S Canadian Open in Winnipeg,Manitoba,American Michelle Wie tops the leaderboard,shooting a 69 for a -10.
In baseball,the St.Louis Cardinals handed the Washington Nationals a 4-2 loss at Nationals Park,with Albert Pujols launching a solo home run,his 401st career homer.The market staged a ridiculous rally,based on thin air such as a GDP revision for Q2 of 1.6 instead of the 1.3 estimated revision-as if 0.3 is going to help the economy significantly.Such an irrational move is very suspect,to say the least.Stocks were still down modestly for the week,with the Dow and S&P stepping back 0.6,and the NASDAQ falling 1.2.Stock futures continued the surge this evening,and bond futures gained altitude as well-another reason for caution.

Friday, August 20, 2010

PGA Playoffs Just Ahead

The Wyndham Championship in Greensboro,North Carolina is the last chance for many golfers to qualify for the PGA Playoffs for the FedEx Cup,which begin next Thursday in Paramus,New Jersey.India's Arjun Atwal cannot qualify because a lack of sufficient earnings caused him to lose his PGA card,but he nonetheless shares the lead at the Wyndham with American Brandt Snedeker at -12.Lucus Glover,John Rollins and Kevin Streelman are next at -11.To qualify for the Playoffs,they must rank 125 or better in points from designated tournaments and be PGA members.
The Phiadelphia Phillies bested the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia tonight,winning a pitcher's duel 1-0.It was the 101st consecutive sellout crowd at Citizens.Despite a season pockmarked with injuries,the Phillies persist in contention for a playoff spot,especially as a wild card candidate.
The market fell short this week,ending up in the red for the year so far.Poor manufacturing data from the Mid-Atlantic region and a surprise uptick in jobless claims discouraged stock investors and pumped up the bond trade.Results were mixed in the futures market this evening,with the S&P futures down 1.00 and the Dow futures at -33.0,while the NASDAQ futures scored 5.50 and bonds also rose.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tiger Woods Rights Ship

On one of the world's most difficult golf courses,Tiger Woods is beginning to show consistency again.For the second day,he finished at one under par at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin,where the year's last Major,the PGA Championship,is being played this weekend.Despite missing the fairway repeatedly in his twilight-shortened effort,which he will resume early tomorrow morning before going on to the third round provided he makes the +1 cut,Woods steadfastly chipped his way back from the roughs.That was a far cry from his lackadaisical performance at the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio last weekend.There is definitely more focus in his game so far this tournament.
Another winner of multiple championships,including the PGA also at Whistling Straits in 2004,Vijay Singh of Fiji,thrilled the fans with an eagle shot into the 6th hole,closing his own shortened round at -2.Americans Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney topped the leaderboard at -8 and -7 respectively with their completed second rounds,which they had begun earlier in the day than Woods and Singh.
The New York Mets were grazing the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in the seventh inning at Citi Field in Queens.
For the week,the market was moderately down,and the futures continued the trend this evening with single digit losses.Retail sales came in at a disappointing +0.2 ex-autos,and weekly jobless claims rose sharply,crimping the market's ambitions for this week.Next week,housing starts and earnings reports from Lowe's and Home Depot figure prominently in the economic calendar.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Recovery In Name

Technically,the economy is recovering.Both the service and manufacturing sectors are growing,according to the Institute for Supply Management's authoritative surveys.Jobs are being created,and fewer jobs are being lost,the Labor Department's employment report shows.These trends are generally so weak,however,they are unable to help the mass of suffering Americans to any appreciable extent.It is really a stalemate,but a stalemate isn't enough to stop deterioration in quality of life for many,nor an underlying threat to the recovery itself in the form of more delinquent mortgages and lesser tax revenues.The stock market was up for the week by less than two points,and volume remains light because there is an appropriate current of suspicion regarding the economy.
Tiger Woods isn't a factor in the tournament he has owned for years,the Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club in Akron,Ohio,with his four over par performance.South African Retief Goosen,a two time winner of the U.S. Open,led the field at -7,while Americans Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard were close behind with a -6.World number three Lee Westwood of Great Britain withdrew from the tournament with an injured leg.In major league baseball,the Blue Jays slipped by the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 in Toronto.
Stock futures were mixed this evening,with the Dow down 22.0,the NASDAQ up 1.50 and the S&P lower by 4.00,while bonds also fell.