"These Chicago Guys Will do Anything" And Other Quotes of the WeekOctober 8, 2012 @ 9:57 AM EST
Was this week the Spain Slow Tease Rally, the Better Than Expected Data Rally, the Romney Debate Rally, the Obama Jobs Report Rally or simply a continuation of the QE Infinity Rally?
Guess it really doesn’t matter as the market caught a bid on all dips in some choppy action and the indices ended up with healthy gains, with the SPX +1.4%, the Dow +1.3%, and the Nasdaq +0.6%. The Dow in fact caught its highest close since December 2007, finishing just above 13,600.
However, as many have pointed out, many investors and funds continue to miss the move up, with Bloomberg again reporting last week, "...hedge funds are turning away from a rally in the global stock market.” (10/5)
And Schaeffer’s Research saying, “The four "E's" -- Earnings, Economy (a/k/a the "fiscal cliff"), Europe, and Elections -- continue to breed uncertainty in the equity market. The ambiguity is translating into caution and hesitation on the part of major market-movers, such as hedge funds.”
With earnings season to kick off the week with Alcoa on Tuesday, and estimates of an earnings contraction of -2.0%, (WSJ-S&P Capital IQ, 10/1) things should get very interesting.
But let’s take a look at some of more provocative quotes of the week, starting with “the first truly social media Presidential debate”. By now you have likely had your fill of “Big Bird” and “Altitude Sickness” banter, so we will keep this relatively brief on the debate.
“America got its first sustained look at a good and competent Romney…the impact of the first debate is going to be bigger than we know.” --Columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who not two weeks ago was saying the Romney campaign was in shambles and calling for wholesale changes. (WSJ)
“When I got on stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. It couldn’t be the real Mitt Romney who has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage said he didn’t know anything about that.” --Pres. Obama in a tweet and several post-debate speeches (TalkingPointsMemo)
“Did your staff let you know the debate was going to be on television?” --Maureen Dowd in today’s NYT, speaking as the character Pres. Jed Bartlet from “The West Wing”.
“@Bill Maher my rating: Romney won the debate, Obama had the facts on his side, and Lehrer sucked. Next debate, get Seth MacFarlane to host!” --Bill Maher tweet in real-time Wednesday evening.
“Obama looked like nobody had talked to him in that tone of voice in four years, you know, except for Michelle.” --Comedian Joy Behar (NY Post)
However, with all the hype of Romney’s debate performance and the subsequent bounce in the polls, the media (at least the right-leaning) may be getting just a bit carried away with “game changer” comments, as policymic.com points out:
“The best site for aggregate polling data is realclearpolitics.com, and their electoral map is pretty much where it’s at. RCP currently has Obama wielding 251 electoral votes and Romney 181, leaving 106 contested votes. Obama only needs to win 20 of those votes to secure the presidency.”
The New Yorker had a piece interviewing several former law school professors of Obama, who came up with the interesting paraphrased thoughts that, “Obama never known as a particularly strong debater…he’s the voice of conciliation.. Obama’s instincts and talents have never included going for an opponent’s jugular…I usually don’t treat being professorial as a problem, but it was a mismatch for the occasion.”
Ok, that has run longer than we thought but we can’t leave the political arena without at least mentioning the firestorm former GE CEO Jack Welch kicked up over Friday’s jobs report, catching a mess of criticism with his tweet: “Unbelievable jobs numbers... these Chicago guys will do anything... can’t debate so change numbers.”
Despite the criticism of Welch, many others also had some raised eyebrows over the numbers, questioning various seeming trend changes in getting to the 7.8% unemployment headline number.
John Crudele in the NY Post, generally a critic of the current administration, especially questioned the results for 20-24 year-olds, but somewhat humorously attributed this to hiring by the Obama campaign, “The President may not only be the beneficiary of the ‘hiring boom’ (among 20-24 age group), but also the employer behind it.”
Besides politics, there had to be something else out there this week, no?
“My belief is that the single biggest challenge facing Hewlett-Packard has been changes in CEOs and executive leadership, which has caused multiple inconsistent strategic choices and frankly some significant executional miscues.'' -- (Fox Business) Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, in comments on lowered revenue and EPS for 2013, helping to drive HPQ to nine-year lows. There was a split jury on Whitman’s speech to an investor conference, with some saying it was good to “get all the bad news out” and others looking for a bit more inspiration regarding turnaround efforts.
“Over a million people from all over the world have shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about Steve. One thing they all have in common — from personal friends to colleagues to owners of Apple products — is how they’ve been touched by his passion and creativity.” --Apple (AAPL), on its “Remembering Steve” site for Steve Jobs this week.
“Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos reportedly drew snickers from a London audience when he denied the country needs a full bailout.” --MarketWatch (what can we say? this entire European drama/farce would be a laughing matter if so many lives were not being affected by crushing unemployment/dire financial straits).
“Zynga Keeps Crashing, But Mark Pincus Is Having A Great Year.” --Forbes headline, saying as ZNGA stock continues to tank, “Mark Pincus’ move in April to sidestep lock-up provisions and dump $190 million of stock in Zynga in an unorthodox stock offering keeps looking worse.”
“On a book tour for his just-published ‘Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,’ the former governor of California is surrounded by adorers of the Terminator, the Governator, the Austrian immigrant with the rags-to-riches story — jumping up and down to forgive him his sins.” –Los Angeles Times. (Others have called it “The Apology Tour”, although Arnold did not seem too down in the interviews we saw. We did learn however that he now might also have the nickname of ‘Edunator’, having become a professor at the University of Southern California with the establishment of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.)
We will finally close it out paying off our headline story, which maybe everyone else in the world already knew. The New York Times in a featured book review story this week titled, “A New Breed of Hunter Shoots, Eats and Tells”, remarks on the new literature trend celebrating “ethical self-harvesting of food” , better known by most as hunting.
“Who is the most famous