Opening Bell: 10.31.07

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Alcatel-Lucent deepens job cuts as it posts loss (MarketWatch)
More evidence that ALA-LU has become an ugly competition. Lesses again in the quarter and another 4000 job cuts. Among those leaving is the CFO, who is "pursuing other opportunities". We're not sure whether he's part of the 4000 cut jobs or whether he makes it 4001. Hopefully they'll clarify that at some point. Seems pretty obvious that CEO Patricia Russo is not long for this job either, though nobody ever thought she was.
Fans go loco for free tacos (Boston Herald)
The Red Sox' victory prompted quite a bit of underpricing of real assets. First there was that furniture store that was stuck $40,000 because of a promotion it had run earlier in the season pertaining to a Red Sox World Series victory. Then yesterday there were free tacos at Taco Bells all across the country, again because of some Red Sox-related promotion. We didn't get a chance to hit one up, but we hope there wasn't any violence, like that time that school district sold underpriced Macs
Crude Oil Falls a Second Day After Goldman Recommends Selling (Bloomberg)
Has Goldman turned bearish on Crude? That's not clear, but they have told clients to "take profits" on the brown stuff, just as its nearing $100. It's possible that the drop is related to this call, although it's also possible it could relate to any number of other things... like the Kurds or Bernanke. That being said, this might be the first time we've ever read one of these stories where the movement of oil was associated with an institutional call. To be honest, we didn't really realize they made calls on this stuff, though, it makes sense... just doesn't get much attention.
Greenspan warns of further pain for US property prices (Guardian)
Alan Greenspan is warnings that the housing market will get worse before it gets better. But get this, so is Robert Shiller, the creator of the S&P/Case Shiller index to track housing prices. Then again, saying Robert Shiller is negative on housing doesn't mean a whole lot, since he's just pretty much a negative guy on housing period. Meanwhile, you have to agree that for the moment, things do like mighty ugly.

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Dell to resume buybacks, files restated results
As several noted, the Steve Jobs rule always applied to Dell too, even though Dell isn't nearly as cool as Apple. Yet despite its noncompliance with NASDAQ listing requirements, there was never any realistic thought given to the idea that it might be delisted. Anyway, the company has now filed its amended reports, restated past results downards ($92 million over 4 years... not particularly catastrophic) and the best part, resuming buybacks. We say the "best part", because the company's use of buybacks is notorious, and, by all appearances, something of a waste of money. Nevertheless, the market loves 'em no matter what, so no surprise that the company made a point to announce the buyback program would continue.
Chinese Chemicals Flow Unchecked to Market (NYT)
The latest scare piece from the NYT. This time its chemicals. Granted, chemicals are scary, because they go into medicine, and you want your medicine to work. And you definitely don't want your tylenol or something more vital to be filled with lead. So it's easy to see why these articles resonate. But when you plug away at the same stuff day in and day out, that products made in China aren't particularly reliable, the story starts to lose its edge a little. So maybe take a break and come back to it.
Fretful Investors Shift Assets As Fed Strategy Haunts Dollar (WSJ)
Today's the day when we find out how much Bernanke is willing to weaken the dollar in exchange for what's perceived to be an economic boost. In anticipation of a cut, the dollar is now at an 11-year low, as you have to give up $1.4436 to get one measly Euro, which seems like a scam. Meanwhile, every other bank around the world has increased rates in the last year (the Journal has a handy chart explaining as such), so our cuts are really exacerbating things. C'mon, give us a Halloween surprise. We need a bracing tonic, not warm coke.
Paying Readers Redux (Market Movers)
Felix Salmon was looking to rip a page out of the Long or Short Capital playbook and experiment with dividends for blog readers. Fortunately, it doesn't look like this will prove to be much of a viable model, since if it were, that'd put even more pressure on other blogs to do the same, which is not the kind of competition we need.
In Case You Were Wondering … (Dealbook)
Well, the Stanley O'Neal-dominated news cycles is coming to a close, but Dealbook does its best to squeeze out one last tidbit before it's way too late. Turns out, Stan O'Neal's name is actually E. Stan O'Neal, and that the E stand for Earnest. There was a whole play about just that thing, right? Or maybe it was about more than the name and we sort of missed the point... entirely possible.

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