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Opening Bell: 4.30.08

GM Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
What, did GM become a Wall St. bank? The company lost $3.3 billion in the quarter, related to various things including GMAC stuff and a strike at American Axle. The good news: on an adjusted basis, it only lost $350 million, which is at least believable. If they'd reported an adjusted profit -- as these companies are sometimes prone to do -- we wouldn't be buying it. The automaker also reduced its units sold forecast in light of the economy.
Shortages Threaten Farmers’ Key Tool: Fertilizer (NYT)
All of the sudden, fertilizer is hot hot hot? What was it that Cramer said the other day? He said Monsanto was the new biotech stock (or something like that) and that fertilizer players were the new Pfizer or some such -- basically fixing the issue, but not curing it. Is the fertilizer shortage a big problem? We have no informed opinion other than to say that eventually this endless cycle of shortages (grain, land, water, energy etc.) will probably snap at some point in some way.
Fed expected to cut key interest rates one more time (AP)
Has anyone one made a "hit me Bernanke one more time" joke before? Surely. But anyway, the markets are expecting one more cheap hit of cheap money and Bernanke is, in all likelihood, going to deliver. Why can't he be firm and just say no? Who knows, but he just won't. If you're a hawk, the good news is: this may be the last one. Right.
Microsoft's Next Move on Yahoo is Imminent (WSJ)
The report says Microsoft's next "move" is imminent, though it really sounds like a non-move more than anything else. Rather than decide what it wants to do (go hostile or walk), Microsoft is expected to do a time-buyer, nominate a slate of its own directors, but not really bring a case to shareholders. Good: more delay.

A New Wave of Vilifying Short Sellers (NYT)
As we've said a million times, complaining about short sellers is the last refuge of a scoundrel -- no doubt. For once though, the issue isn't those shameless "naked" short sellers, but rather those rumor mongers, whose desire to make a quick buck can lead to the downfall of entire companies -- or countries! Not that these ne'er-do-wells are identified. They're more like a mythical creature that you find in the woods. But they must stop terrorizing our children tout suite.
Gore investment body closes $683m fund (FT)
Al Gore has a fund? We had no idea. Not that we're surprised. The old green definitely has a capitalist streak, even if its that "capitalism can change the world" style of west-coast capitalism (which we happen to subscribe to for the most part, just with some minor tweaks). Anyway, he's now got a big $683 million war chest to change the climate back to normal.
This Election Could Devastate The Cattle Industry (Beef Magazine)
Read up on this important issue.