Opening Bell: 8.2.07

Export growth aids manufacturing (Chicago Tribune)
Maybe there's something to this whole currency readjustment trade balance thing. Maybe. Of course, the whole concept is premised on the idea that you believe statistics, but if you do, it would seem that both manufacturers and exporters are enjoying a bit of a boomlet. Conveniently, economists are now calling for manufacturers and exporters to pick up where housing has left off, in terms of supporting the economy. That would be a bit too convenient.
N.Y.'s Cuomo probes Division I colleges (BusinessWeek)
Even before taking the office of New York attorney general, the knock on Andrew Cuomo was that he was a lightweight, simply surfing along on his father's name. That's okay though -- to his credit, he's not an Eliot Spitzer clone. Sure, he loves to investigate "injustices" and has a bit of a John Edwards complex (right every wrong), but take a look at this big issue. Student Loans? Who cares? He is a lightweight. Then again, if he spends his time and resources investigating a little corruption in the student loan business, it's okay with us, because it means he's not involved in anything more significant, where he could actually start causing problems.
FCC's Copps: Dow Jones Deal No Regulatory 'Slam-Dunk' (Editor & Publisher)
What the hell? Somehow FCC member Michael Copps got it into his head the News Corp.'s purchase of Dow Jones could pose a threat to independent media voices or some nonsense like this. Hasn't he ever heard of Dealbreaker? There's certainly no shortage of business news outlets. No, but seriously, we're just going to move on, since we have no interest in seeing our blood pressure spike at this hour of the morning.
‘Credit’ strikes again - M&B property JV under threat (FT Alphaville)
Now the credit crunch has really gone too far. Seriously. A pubs operator in Braitain is seeing its merger plans get put in jeopardy because of an inability to find adequate financing.

American to test in-flight broadband next year (USA Today)
There are some who say that the reason in-flight internet has yet to take off is because there isn't adequate demand. To this we say 'nonsense on stilts'. We always hate it when people extrapolate based on their own views, but indulge us just this once: we'd love to see in-flight internet access and we wouldn't mind paying out the nose. Think about it. How many times have you shelled out $14 on crappy magazines at the airport terminal in the hopes of avoiding in-flight boredom. But then, it's like, do you actually ever read the entire Harper's, or do you just get stuck on the Harper's index. You've gotta figure that the $20 you spend on in-flight internet would almost be completely canceled out by the money saved on magazine purchases, or books.
Unilever's Profit Beats Estimates; Shares Climb (Bloomberg)
Let's just say, we were at a trivia competition last night, and our team got into a tiebreaker situation with another team, and the question had to do with the food industry, and we thought we were so sharp when we answered Unilever, but that that turned out to be wrong, meaning we got third place. Bitter memories. As for Unilever itself, the company solidly beat estimates and it sees good things going forward, particularly in the area of ice cream.
Starbucks 3Q Profit Climbs 9 Percent (AP)
There's something about growth stocks. It tends to take investors an absurdly long time to realize that they're never going to grow again like they did in the old days. For some reason, the benchmark for them always remains their past glory, even when that's completely unrealistic. Companies like Starbucks and Wal-mart will never double their national footprint in two years. Just can't happen. Anyway, Starbucks is starting to show the kind of results you'd expect from a company that sells coffee. Moderately good, nothing stellar. You know, they sell coffee, people. That's pretty much it.
Nasdaq Supports L.S.E. Bid for Italian Rival (Dealbook)
The NASDAQ says it will support the London Stock Exchange's bid for Borsa Italiana. The NASDAQ, of course, owns 30% of the LSE but it's not intended to be an investment, bid rather a launching point to acquire the whole company. Those ambitions seem to have been thwarted for now, so in the meantime, it has to act like any other significant shareholder and deal with issues of strategic interest to the LSE.