Friday, March 30, 2012

Mavs Best Magic;Market Claims Quarter

The Dallas Mavericks were behind most of Friday night's game at Amway Center in Orlando,but the Orlando Magic's poor ball handling finally caught up with them,yielding a 100-98 victory to the Mavs.Dirk Nowitzki powered the Mavs with his 28 points,while Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson topped the Magic's scorecard with 24 and 21 points,respectively.
The Magic committed 16 turnovers in the game,costing them 20 points.
It was completely irrational,but many Americans plunked down cash for the Mega Millions multi-state lottery,which has a payout of more than a half billion dollars.They would have a much better chance playing other,less popular drawings-even the regular state lottery drawings.
The stock market was totally healthy in Q1-its best quarter since 1998,with the S&P 500 Index appreciating a terrific 12%.Many retail investors completely missed out on the rally,as revealed by the persistently anemic volume.On the week,the S&P rose 0.81%,elevated by positive consumer sentiment and spending growth.
Next week will be backloaded by the Labor Department's unemployment report released on Good Friday.Eastern Orthodox Holy Friday will be a week later.The S&P futures climbed to a 5.00 gain on Friday evening,while bond index futures receded.

Friday, March 23, 2012

NCAA:Ohio Almost Prevails;So Too the Market

The Ohio Bobcats almost dealt the North Carolina Tarheels' hopes a fatal blow Friday night at the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals in St.Louis.Walter Offut could have scored a 3-point shot to win the game for Ohio,but,in the end,he missed and the Bobcats had to settle for a 2-point that sent the game into overtime.
This put a great burden on the Bobcats and they were unable to deliver,already tired by the effort needed to match the #1 Tar Heels.North Carolina won 73-65,led by Tyler Zeller and his hefty 20-point,22-rebound performance.
Disappointing home sales figures,as well as concern over slower Chinese and European growth,held the stock market back this week.The S&P 500 Index slid 0.50% on the week,although still up a strong 11.09% on the year.Next week will see few reports.Durable goods orders and personal income and spending numbers will be evaluated.On Friday evening,the S&P futures climbed a modest 5.20,and bond index futures also made an ascent.
Update:North Carolina will play Kansas on Sunday at 5:05 pm Eastern on CBS.

CBS College Basketball Theme Song

CBS College Basketball Theme Song

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lehigh Upends Apple Cart;Market Smiles

The Lehigh University Mountain Hawks dismissed the expert opinion Friday evening when they handled the Duke Blue Devils 75-70 at the NCAA college basketball tournament at Greensboro,North Carolina.Lehigh,the number 15 seed,upended number 2-ranked Duke's apple cart with strong defensive play and a superior proficiency in 3-point shots of 33.3% versus 23.1%.The two teams had identical regular season records of 27-7.
Also sustained by the performance of number 5 NCAA scorer C.J. McCollum's 30 points,the Mountain Hawks gave the entire Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania one of the happiest memories of their lives.They also greatly pleased University of North Carolina fans who loudly cheered them on,detesting rival Duke University's team.
Lehigh coach Brett Reed said they ignored the prognosticators and just believed in themselves.Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski felt that his team wasn't a juggernaut.In fact,they hadn't been doing well offensively the last few weeks of the season.
It wasn't just our doing,he added-they played that well.
The stock market also excelled this week,with the S&P 500 Index posting a weekly gain of 2.43% on a decline in new filings for jobless benefits,as well as solid manufacturing reports.On the year,the S&P is up 11.65%.
Next week,the market will evaluate housing numbers,plus earnings reports from General Mills,Oracle and FedEx.The S&P futures tacked on 2.50 Friday evening,while bond index futures slipped in price.
General Mills(GIS),Oracle(ORCL),FedEx(FDX)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Superstar On Snow:Lindsey Vonn Takes Fourth World Cup

Americans are feeling much pride this weekend in their champion skier Lindsey Vonn.She captured her fourth World Cup overall title at Are,Sweden with a win in the women's giant slalom race Friday.Her points total of 1808 puts her in rarefied territory.The great Austrian Hermann Meier-the Hermannator-holds the all-time season record of 2,000 points.
There are five more events to go this season.Vonn said she is exhausted,but always excited for a race.Mentally,it feels like the first week of the season.
Friday's win was her tenth of the season,and the 52nd of her career.No other American has won more World Cup overall titles.She is 27 years old,and the new trophy can only increase an already prominent profile in the advertising world.
While cognizant of her own achievement,Vonn is quick to give credit to the other skiers on the World Cup tour.It's a balanced perspective that has served her well.
The stock market also won this week on a better than expected employment report and news of a short term success in managing the Euro debt crisis,with the S&P 500 Index advancing 0.09% on the week.On the year,the S&P is up 9.01.
Next week traders will assess inflation figures;industrial production;retail sales and consumer sentiment;the Federal Reserve interest rate decision;as well as the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys.
The S&P futures rose 6.20 on Friday evening,while bond index futures lost value.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Market Quiet;Tornadoes Strike

The stock market was slightly positive this week,with the S&P 500 Index managing a gain of 0.28%.This mirrors the economy,which is growing at a leisurely pace of 1.8%,according to the latest GDP number.PIMCO's new normal hypothesis is definitely being borne out by such reports as the recovery fails to gather much steam,but is nonetheless real.The prospect of further economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve is unlikely as long as data continue on the current positive track,which leaves traders in a guarded mood in light of the Iranian situation,high oil prices and question marks in Europe.
Frankly,things are looking a bit toppy at this point,in the absence of further indications.One could come next Friday with the employment report due from the Labor Department.The Institute for Supply Management will also release its service sector data next week,but the winding down of earnings season leaves everyone feeling a little flat.
An early severe weather season is punishing the Midwest and South as tornado outbreaks from Indiana to Alabama had fatal consequences.Entire small towns were razed to the ground by fierce winds that left 31 dead in Indiana,Kentucky and Ohio.A cold air mass from the Rocky Mountains clashed with warm air,resulting in the unusually violent beginning to meteorological spring,which started March 1.
The Phoenix Suns bested the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.Jared Dudley,26,led the Suns to their conquest,scoring the game high 22 points,with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.For L.A.,Blake Griffin topped the stats with 17 points,7 rebounds and 1 assist.The Clippers fell to 21-12 on the year,while Phoenix still lags behind them with a record of 16-20.
The S&P futures dropped 5.70 Friday evening,while bond index futures rose.