Opening Bell: 8.8.07

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Profit, sales surge for Cisco (San Jose Mercury News)
Cisco, the ultimate 'picks 'n' pans' play of the internet delivered strong growth, confirming the notion that the corporate market remains strong. CEO John Chambers called it one of the best quarters the company has seen in many years, as it delivered growth at all businesses and regions. Of late the company has tried to get away from its pure business of selling gear, as it's heartily embraced the whole Web 2.0 social networking thing. While we're sure they're excited about these new lines, nobody should have any delusions about what pays the bills.
$5,400 Seat on Virgin America's First Flight (ABC News)
After months and months and months of regulatory delays, Virgina America finally takes to the skies today with cheap one-way flights between New York and San Francisco. This is already a well-served route, but regardless of your airline of choice, the presence of yet another discount competitor doing this line should be good for you. Get this, some poor schlub paid $5,400 in an auction for his seat because, among other celebrities, Stephen Colbert will be on the flight.
Recalls prompt parents to ask: Is any toy safe? (Seattle Times)
The widening recall of toys certainly has parents concerned. It's understandable, since nobody wants their child to get lead poisoning. But let's take things a step forward, is it a good idea to let one's children play with toys even if they're safe? The answer to that has to be a resounding 'no'. Personally, we were reared on spreadsheets, calculators, Cuisenaire Rods, and almanacs and it turned out just fine. If you're worried, ditch the toys and get them to start doing something, um, productive for a change.
PC firm Lenovo chases Packard Bell (Reuters)
Chinese computer maker Lenovo has announced the purchase of Packard Bell. Wait, huh? Packard Bell? Yup, Packard Bell. Turns out they're still around, although they mainly operate in Europe. The deal would help Lenovo expand its geographical footprint. Meanwhile, analysts see Lenovo making aggressive bids for Tandy and Zeos going forward.

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Dollar strengthens on FOMC as U.S. rate cut bets ebb (Reuters)
Well, Cramer probably went and locked himself in a dark room with no windows, lights or Blackberries following the announcement that the Fed wouldn't be slashing rates. But not everyone felt that the news was so Armageddonous. The stock market rallied and even the dollar, long the loser, showed some life, rising modestly against other currencies.
More time spent on Web than newspapers: study (Reuters)
It took a study to conclude that people are spending more time on the web than reading newspapers. It's been awhile since we've studied formal logic, but doesn't that mean that more people read Dealbreaker than the Wall Street Journal, seeing as the former is on the web, while the latter is a paper?
2 Lenders Voice Confidence as 2 More Fold (Dealbook)
Not all mortgage brokers are in the same boat. Both Countrywide Financial and CIT claim that they'll be able to ride out the wave and surf nicely onto the beach. That being said, Homebanc and Impac Mortgage basically raised the white flag, announced that they would slow down on selling mortgages due to a lack of available credit.
Shaky Results in Core Areas Deflate High Hopes for Boston Scientific (NYT)
We like to keep on top of what's happening in the coronary stent market, because it tends to be pretty amusing. When you boil it right down, the fact of the matter is that these companies prove to be constant disappointments on a number of levels. Either their sales are off, or their manufacturing facilities are off, or the stents prove to be a safety hazard once they're implanted and they have to be removed. Hmm, maybe 'amusing' wasn't the right choice of words. The Times reports that shares in Boston Scientific have just performed terribly, exceeding the expectations of Wall Street's most fervent bears. Sales are weak and the company has lost its investment-grade rating from S&P, adding to its (and its bondholders') woes.

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