Opening Bell: 10.2.07

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Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index Surges: World's Biggest Mover (Bloomberg)
Following our rally, the world rally, with Hong Kong turning in the biggest gains. If you're into numerology, perhaps you'll find it curious that the Hang Seng crossed 28,000 right after we hit 14,000... a little creepy, no? Does this mean that Hong Kong is twice as good as us though? Could be.
Higher open seen on GE earnings prospects (Thomson Financial)
Well yesterday was pretty fun, wasn't it? Let's hope it's another one of those all news is good news kinda days. You know, if a company reports good earnings, then great, time to bid up the stock. If they report bad earnings, then maybe Bernanke will cut rates, so time to buy. Yesterday was like that for a whole host of reasons. Our favorite was that analysts got excited about M&A again after Nokia/Navteq, even though Nokia and Navteq themselves fell on the news. But who cares? Can we make it two?
After 1Q loss, Palm looks to next-generation products for growth (San Jose Mercury News)
No really, Palm is on the verge of turning things around. Seriously.
EBay takes a blow on Skype (San Jose Mercury News)
There was plenty of talk about eBay and Skype yesterday, so we don't have much to add, but there is one point worth bringing up. Seeing as the deal is proving to be such a financial disappointment, why did the Skype founders receive such a big earnout? Let's put it another way: why were the benchmarks for earning out cash not related to, you know, success? If it were us, and we were making a purchase - say, the biggest finance gossip blog in Shanghai - we'd definitely structure our incentives so that if they were hit, it would mean we did well on the purchase. Just sayin'.

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Fed Fails to Restore Creditor Confidence, Pimco Says (Bloomberg)
Bond experts aren't yet convinced that the Fed's moves will save the credit markets anytime soon. That makes sense, seeing as a rate cut really won't do anything for the hundreds of thousands of families that are now or will be in default on their homes and then credit cards. Thing is, it's all just getting started. And mortgage resets are just part of the problem. Declining home values won't be so easily turned around, which means less home equity, which means less cushion, etc. The point is, yes, it's hard to imagine that anything policy action heretofore would accomplish a whole lot. Which is not to say we don't want another yummy cut to boost our stocks for one more day.
Blogonomics: RSS Feeds (Market Movers)
Because you know you were curious, Felix Salmon explains the economics of RSS feeds, a subject near and dear to our hearts.
Fair Trade in Bloom (NYT)
Really hope he's not reading this, but some fairly obnoxious guy at a farmer's market got all up in our grill touting the benefit of Fair Traded coffee the other day, saying that if everything were Fair Trade, "we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today". What mess? He didn't say. Guess it's just assumed that we're messed up and we can start from there. Also, didn't quite explain how Fair Trade (coffee) could get us out of said mess. Again, just gotta take his word. We just nodded and smiled.
Kodak: Shares Gain On Rumors Of HP Bid; But Why Would Mark Hurd Want To Do That? (Tech Trader Daily)
Why would Mark Hurd want to buy Kodak? Duh, cause he wants a Carly moment. No, in all seriousness, it does seem pretty far fetched.
Scientists Are Making Brazil’s Savannah Bloom (NYT)
So the Times is writing about Brazil's tremendous boom in agricultural production. Could be a good article or a bad one, we're not sure. So we decided to do a quick test. We hit ctrl+f in our browser and started typing "b o r l..." ah, there it is, the obligatory quote from Norman Borlaug. Looks like the writer did their homework. Without that, it'd be pretty hard to imagine the article was any good.
Of All the Tea In China, 'Puer' Is the Hottest (WSJ)
Interesting article about the high amount of speculation in China right now. One form of tea, called puer, notable because it gets better with age, saw its market value septuple over three years, before backsliding by about 40%. Given the wild price swings, a puer exchange has been established to help traders buy and sell the stuff. It'd be a bit lazy to start making tulip comparisons, since it doesn't sound like a national obsession just yet. And of course, there are plenty of commodities here that have made some pretty staggering moves. Still, perhaps China would be smart to open up its strategic puer reserves just in case the price takes off again.

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