WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2011 10:00 PM EDT
A Leaner Cisco?
Wednesday Wrap: Markets Salvage Earlier Gains
Following the Smart Money
High on Gold
Small Cap Ideas
An Interview With Paul Merriman
Puzzling Out Netflix's Latest Move
Where to Go Next...
MARKET CURRENTSmore »
Worldwide Q2 PC shipments grew by just 2.3%, Gartner says, well below the firm's projected 6.7% increase. The weak preliminary results reflect pressure from iPad (AAPL) and related-product sales, as well as cautious spending. H-P (HPQ) continues to lead, accounting for 17.5% of shipments in Q2, and Dell (DELL) moves into the No. 2 slot for the first time since Q4 of 2008.
With gold (now at $1,583) looking to many like the only safe place in asset hide-and-seek, it's pushed into new nominal highs - and contrarians aren't surprised, Mark Hulbert notes, counting an average recommended market exposure of just 34% (two-thirds of gold portfolio in cash). But despite the wall of worry, could Europe woes (and a fired-up ECB printing press) make the metal go "parabolic"?
[Commodities, Quick Ideas]
It's time for the U.S. to prosecute News Corp. (NWS), says Eliot Spitzer, and strip TV licenses if it's guilty - because how likely is it that the company's overseas misdeeds stopped at the water's edge? The U.S. has been aggressive on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and needs to step up, if the British government has been even a little bit captured by NWS. (Murdoch drops BSkyB bid)
Investors should look to South America for the next big payoff on carry trades, says Siobhan Morden at RBS Securities. She bucks conventional wisdom by suggesting trades that short Brazil, and go long underrated countries like Chile, Peru, Columbia and Uruguay.
[Global & FX, Quick Ideas]
Morgan Stanley (MS) is "running layoff scenarios into several thousands," according to Charlie Gasparino at Fox Business News. As markets sag, Gasparino say the firm has begun making plans for a large round of job cuts that includes traders and possibly investment bankers as well.
On the hour: S&P -0.4%. 10-yr +0.2%. Euro +0.48% vs. dollar. Crude -0.13% to $97.92. Gold +0.03% to $1586.00.
Abuse of power and lewd parties are one thing, but "open warfare" with finmin Giulio Tremonti - maybe the one man in the country who can keep the spinning plates of Italy's debt situation going - is another. It's time for Berlusconi to step down, writes Hugo Dixon. Elections at this time could be risky, but no more than the current situation.
[Global & FX]
California - the worlds eighth largest economy - reports a 10.5% gain in May exports, as shipments of raw materials and agricultural products grew by 24.2% on strong demand from Asia. According to Beacon Economics, "Adjusting for inflation, California’s export trade is as robust as it was prior to the recession."
Sen. Mitch McConnell warns fellow Republicans a federal default could help Pres. Obama get re-elected if government checks are delayed, and the populace blames the GOP. The Senate Republican leader advocates a three-stage increase in the debt limit, drawing more praise from administration officials than conservatives.
Though the S&P 500 may still be well below its 10/07 high of 1576, thanks in large part to weak performance from financials, Mark Smith (a.k.a. Trader Mark) points out that the industrial, technology, and consumer discretionary sectors, as measured by their SPDR ETFs, have more or less made it back.