Opening Bell: 3.25.08

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HBOS Climbs After Executives Buy Shares in U.K. Bank (Bloomberg)
We love insider buys. They're so... confidence inducing. Executive at HBOS, said to have come under a big bear raid in recent days, are buying. CEO Andy Hornby took advantage of the "false rumors" on HBOS shares to acquire another 1.4 million of them. And that's already paid of handsomely. The stock spiked 17 percent on the news.
Bear at $10: Done Deal? (WSJ)
No, really, $10 is it. Of course if shareholders don't sue in Delaware court for more, then there's no doubt. $10 is it. This is your last and final offer? Are you buying shares above $10? Think you can do the same thing you did last time? Fat chance. They're gonna take a 39.5 percent stake. They're going to take you're building, and then what are you going to have? Of course, if a Delaware court did strike down the deal, we'd be looking at one of the most explosive Federalist issues of all time -- a Delaware court defying the will of the Fed. Would the Fed send in the national guard to overpower the court and manually put Bear's assets into JPM's account?
Regional Indexes Surge On Wall Street's Gains (WSJ)
The positive-reinforcing cycle continued while you were sleeping, as the Asian markets moved sharply higher across the board. Hong Kong turnedin a monster, gaining 6.4 percent, a bit ahead of India. The Nikkei was a relative laggard, gaining only 2.12 percent.
U.S. and Canada Accuse Drug Maker of Fraud (NYT)
For those of you not following the Biovail story, you're really missing out. Like, really. Just to make sure you know the story of the truck: the company blamed an earnings shortfall a while back on a truck crash carrying its pills. Turns out that was a lie. An analyst actually did the work himself, confirming that there was no product in the truck. The saga goes from there, but that analyst is a hero.


Evening News. They Still Do That? (Infectious Greed)
An unsurprising, though still staggering chart on the decline in evening news viewing.
Wheat, Soybeans Advance on Supply Risk; Gold Rallies on Dollar (Bloomberg)
The commodities trade has already been declared dead, so this must be the equivalent of a sucker rally. Or maybe a dead cat bounce. Ag commodities bounced higher (supposedly on weather fears, but we'll just give the stock Dealbreaker answer to all of these things: more interest in buying than on selling) as did gold, reversing a precipitous decline over the last week.
Oil Drops Near $100 on Stronger Dollar (AP) AND Dollar Sinks Ahead of Housing Report (AP)
Unprecedent for us: a real two-fer headline. Then again, if you did happen to be trading between the hours of 4:05 AM and 7:13 AM, maybe it was useful for you to know that at some point around that period, the Dollar must've had a downtick after a series of upticks.

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