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Opening Bell: 8.28.07

ASX, Euronext may be eyeing LSE stake (Financial Post)
The NASDAQ announced a couple weeks ago that it would reluctantly dump its stake in the LSE, as it recognized that it would never have it to itself. Plus, with all of the other competition and consolidation in the stock exchange space, the NASDAQ had plenty of other fish to fry. However, despite the LSE's reputation as a cruel mistress, both the NYSE Euronext and the Australian Stock Exchange may be interested in picking up a slice of the NASDAQ's stake. It's not clear what their intentions would be, whether the buy would be an investment or something more strategic.
Whole Foods wraps up purchase of Wild Oats (AP)
And with that... it's over! Just like in a basketball game, once the buzzer buzzes, there's no going back and reviewing plays, no fouling the shooter to put him on the line. The game's over. Whole Foods 1, FTC 0. Now it's time to focus on XM/Sirius and see that it ends up the same.
Redone Deal Not Thought Contagious (NYT)
Analysts are rushing to insure investors that the HD Supply saga is unique and that deal reprising won't become the norm. We're not so sure. First of all, any time someone uses the word contagious or contained, it's a good rule of thumb to assume that they're completely wrong. Second, part of the argument for saying that HD Supply won't happen again rests upon the idea that there was a unique set of conditions in place here. But look around -- there are weird things going on in a host of deals. Clear Channel is having trouble dumping 400 local stations, which it needs to do before it goes public. Although the sense of panic may have waned for a couple of days, the market is still skeptical on a lot of deals, probably quite rightly.
Embattled gold miner suing former CEO (Vancouver Sun)
We mentioned yesterday that there had been a dearth of good metals stories this summer. Apparently, we spoke to soon. Vancouver's Southwestern Resources Corp., a gold miner, is suing its former CEO, for tampering with test to results to inflate the quantity of gold at a site in China. While (allegedly) manipulating these results on his own, CEO John Paterson was also selling shares in the company, taking advantage of a stock market boost. The lawsuit didn't specify the total damages sought, though the company wants at least $1 million. $1 million, how quaint.

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Buyers, sellers square off (Chicago Tribune)
To be honest, we were a bit surprised by yesterday's report that housing prices fell nationally for the first time. Thing is, we thought we'd read that report a long time before. It's sort of like when you see an article that says a new study shows that broccoli can help fight cancer, and you're thinking to yourself, "this is news?". Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune notes that Chicago managed to buck the national trend, but that it saw volumes fall to anemic levels. They're taking that to mean that buyers absolutely would not budge on prices. Good for them.
Beijing Seeks New Scrutiny of Investments by Outsiders (NYT)
Pretty much any time a government invokes national security for passing some law, it's safe to assume there's a different motive. The Chinese Government looks set to pass a rule limiting foreign ownership of Chinese firms on such grounds. As the Times notes, US regulators have recently indicated a similar sentiment to foreign purchases, particularly if the foreigner is from China. Hopefully this is all just rhetoric, and we don't end up in some crazy trade war.
The Decline and Fall of Declinism (The American)
With all that's going on these days, from the failed Bush presidency to the subprime debacle and the war in Iraq, it's hard not to feel a twinge of concern over the fate of the country. In a way, the sinking dollar seems to tell all. But perhaps any pessimism is just unwarranted millenialism or the selfish mentality that our generation must represent some pinnacle of achievement and that it's all down hill from here. So if you're looking for perk up this morning, check out the above article at The American, which enumerates all of the stuff we have going for us, and why that's not likely to dissipate anytime soon. We're feeling better already.
Global Stocks, U.S. Futures Fall; SocGen, Westpac (Bloomberg)
Sounds like it was a pretty rough night for the markets, as investors got back t worrying about US mortgages and other such things. In Australia, the central bank warned that the country's money market may come under pressure, as the subprime fallout put a chill on all lending. Not sure where all this is going, but the crisis definitely doesn't feel 'over'.
The Craig Story, Day Two (The Atlantic)
Yesterday, we devoted some space t figuring out what the Gonzalez resignation meant to Wall Street. Today we're wondering what the news that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was arrested for solicitation in a bathroom means to the Street. Seriously, we're not just looking for an excuse to bring up this story. To prove that this is a worthwhile question, here's a link to a a "podchat" (what the rest of us call a podcast), in which the Senator maybe briefly mentions Sarbanes-Oxley.