JPMorgan Fourth-Quarter Earnings Fall, Miss Analyst Estimates (Bloomberg)
A miss. JP Morgan net income declined to $2.97 billion, from last year's $4.53 billion, owing in part to a $1.3 billion loss on subprime debt. The company missed estimates by little, though at this point, it's hard to get too worked up over that part. Nobody really knew anything. Here's the full release. Have at it.
Asian Stock Markets Plunge (AP)
So goes Intel, so goes the world. One of the ugliest days of an ugly year turned extremely ugly post-bell yesterday, when Intel came in light and plunged double digits. And you know, it's a biggie. So the world took the queue overnight and did the same, with the Asian markets getting particularly battered. Hang Seng down 5.4 percent; Nikkei down 3.4 percent, with declines pretty much everywhere else as well.
Bull Market for Clones: Studs, Not Stock (AP)
So here's the deal: the FDA says that milk and meat from cloned animals is kosher... well, not the Kosher kosher, but kosher for sale. But at this point (supposedly), you're not actually going to be eating cloned beef or milk from cloned cows. Instead, the industry is likely to use cloning only for the best of the breed -- the stud animals whose genes they really want to propagate. The chattel, for now, are just that.
Stimulus Deal May Be Possible (WSJ)
Back a few years ago, when things started really coming out of the post-bubble doldrums, the prevailing attitude was basically: look, we've seen tax cuts, lowered interest rates and heavy government spending and there's a lot of damn cash coming into the system right now. It never meant anything fundamentally good to the economy, but cash finds its way to corporate coffers and it made their stocks go up (at least that's a common read of history). So now we're talking about it all over again. More mondo rate cutes might be on the way, and there's even some talk of more tax cuts. In an interview, congressmen Barney Frank said he could support a stimulus package if it didn't involve making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Either way, the question for investors, is can they make the same thing work again?
Buddy, Can You Spare a Billion? (NYT)
The SWFs get all of the attention, but it's not like there's no cash here anymore. NYT notes that the recent infusions have involved some local boys, including mutual and hedge funds and pension funds. From our perch, cash is cash, and it doesn't much matter from whence it comes. The real issue is the staggering losses. Whether it's a fund in NJ or a fund in Singapore is sort of ancillary to the matter.
2008 Republican Nominee (Intrade)
Three states; three winners. Frontrunner John McCain wasn't able to repeat his 2000 performance, losing in Michigan to native son Mitt Romney, who promised the good citizens of the state that he would "fight for every good job", whatever the heck that means. Traders at Intrade still have McCain out in front, though he's been brought back to earth. Romney is up to $.20 on the dollar, having been as low as about $.12 not too long ago. Going long Romney to win the whole nomination might've been an easy bet over the last couple of days, particularly as his Michigan contract started to zoom upward (they definitely got that one right).
Whoops: MacBook Air is the Apple Foleo (TechFold)
Apple took a real plunge yesterday during Steve Jobs' Stevenote. Basically, he didn't have anything exciting to say, at all. The two real announcements had to do with online movie rentals and a real thin Macbook. And though the Macbook looks pretty, folks are hammering it on the specs.