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Opening Bell: 3.21.08

Commodities Drop, Rally in Dollar, Stocks Vindicate Bernanke (Bloomberg)
It was a Holiday-shortened week, but he'll take it. Judging by articles like this that proclaim Bernanke "vindicated", the unfairly maligned Fed chief had a good few days. Other than angry Bear shareholders, people seem to be in a good mood, as stocks, the Dollar and commodity prices are all moving sharply in the "right" direction. So is the worst behind us? Have we seen the whites of the markets eyes? Uh. Somehow we don't fully feel comfortable making a prognostication after just four days. But please, more whites of the markets eyes references in the press, if possible. Also: props for letting us enjoy our long weekend without a major financial meltdown to stew on.
Selling Lauren Conrad (WSJ)
Lauren Conrad, one of those famous for being famous types, and star of some MTV reality show is full on trying to turn herself into a brand. This is a good idea. Not because we're fans (does she actually have fans?). But because personality-driven brands are the way to go these days. Let's be realistic for a second. Would people stop watching Lauren Conrad if she jumped to, say, ABC? We're guessing it wouldn't be an issue. Or take any writer for a blog or the WSJ: would you stop reading them at a different site? You probably wouldn't even notice. That's why Martha Stewart bought up Emeril. Individual names are growing in significance, while the containers they used to operate within are disappearing. Jordans these days don't even have the Nike Swoosh on 'em.
Verizon and AT&T Win Big in Auction of Spectrum (NYT)
Think about this for a second: The just-concluded wireless spectrum auction brought the US over $18 billion. Meanwhile the just-concluded Visa IPO ("V") was for about $17 billion... let it sink in. Interesting eh? Ok, not really. Those just happen to be two numbers separated by about a billion. No significance metaphysically or economically at all. Anyway, the big winners: Verizon, AT&T, and even EchoStar picked up a big chunk. Google bid, but didn't ultimately walk away with the slice. It's sort of trendy to say that Google "won" by not winning, but by triggering the FCC's open access requirements, but whatever. They didn't win.
NYP adds to the Goldman layoff talk, saying 15 percent of the capital markets unit.
Arianna Bests Drudge? (All Things D)
We're total Drudge nerds and we've never quite "got" the Huffington Post, but we're still intrigued that the latter may have passed the former in traffic, at least according to one measure. After all, Drudge is Drudge. And, when Huffington Post launched it was seen as a liberal answer to Drudge. The thing is: HuffPo actually has content. Real, searchable, archivable content. That means that people stay on the site and, critically, it shows up in searches. Adding to their search juju, I'd imagine, is the fact that they have snippets of various wire stories, stuff like that, extending their content beyond folks like Lanny Davis and David Simon. And when was the last time Drudge turned up in a search, except when you were searching for "Drudge", because you didn't have him bookmarked or because you were too lazy to type in So while the traffic growth at Arianna is impressive, Drudge's traffic is more so, and we're pretty sure that there's still no bigger traffic firehose than this site.
Japan's Nikkei up 1.8 pct as banks, brokers gain (Reuters)
While you were sleeping: The Nikkei jumped 1.8 percent on Bern Bernanke's heroics. The losers: of course, the commodity players on the market.
DealBreaker will be on a reduced publishing schedule in honor of Good Friday. As always, the community section remains open for readers to begin your own discussion threads.