Opening Bell: 11.2.07

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Deals With Hedge Funds May Be Helping Merrill Delay Mortgage Losses (WSJ)
The media just won't leave Merrill Alone. No, actually, this sounds interesting. According to people "familiar with the situation", Merrill has engaged in a number of deals with hedge funds that could mask and delay the extent of its debt losses. Under one agreement, according to the report, a hedge fund bought $1 billion worth of commercial paper, with an agreement that it could sell it back next year for a guaranteed return. In the meantime, Merrill doesn't have to book any losses. Honestly, we feel we're not fully getting this just from one short article, so who knows what's true, or what wrinkles are being left out. But we will say this. Most of the media cares less about nuance than we do (surprise surprise), so just judging from the bare basics, don't be surprised if we start to hear about Nigerian Barge 2.0. Again, no wonder nobody wants the top job there.
Cisco's Chinese Gambit (Forbes)
Cisco is set to drop $16 billion in China to aid its expansion in the country. Ok, quite aggressive. But does that really make it a gambit? Not sure.
Lenovo to Drop the IBM Logo; Profit Surge Foretells Growth (WSJ)
This isn't an official endorsement or anything, but the Opening Bell is being written on a Lenovo Thinkpad, and suffice to say, it's easily the best laptop we've ever used. And really, we used to use Macs, though this crowd probably isn't as partisan pro-mac as some others. Even the newest MacBookPros feel chintzy by comparison. Anyway, we were surprised when we got this a few months ago and saw the IBM logo on it. We though they'd already dropped that a long time ago. Guess not. Anyway, here comes brand Lenovo, ready to take on the computer market on its own.
Writers Set to Strike, Threatening Hollywood (NYT)
So, like, this Hollywood strike really might happen. Evidently the first casualties will be daily shows, like the Daily Show, which need fresh scripts on a daily basis. Shows that have a backlog of scripts will be able to survive for a while. Reality shows should do very well... in this environment, even Dog: The Bounty Hunter could probably save his job. All this assumes that the strike will last more than a day, which seems to be the popular length these days. It could though. The two sides seem pretty far apart on a host of things related to digital and DVD-related remuneration. Still, we're predicting a short one.

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Why Your Clock Changes Sunday (The Numbers Guy)
Hmm.... late sunday night we're going to be on a redeye flight across the timezones. And the time is going to be switching. So what time will we land? Unfortunately, it's too early at the moment to try figuring it out. All we know is that the switch is pretty much rubbish.
Google Launches OpenSocial to Spread Social Applications Across the Web
So yeah, in like one week, everybody's gone from talking about Facebook to talking about Google and its new OpenSocial standard. So all those annoying apps on Facebook will now run on MySpace and Orkut. Allsome. Evidently they've been working on it for a year, though the timing of the announcement couldn't be better, given Microsoft's gigantic investment in Facebook.
NYSE Says 3Q Profit More Than Triples (AP)
About the only thing we know, with regards to the new NYSE Euronext is that the merger made the company larger and that there's been a lot of trading volume lately and that somehow benefits the company. More generally, it does seem to be doing quite well as a company, as chart of its existence as a public company can attest.

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