Opening Bell: 6.2.08

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China Unicom buys China Netcom in $56B stock swap (AP)
Hey, who said the megadeal was dead? $56B!
Boeing, Airbus Delays Give Carriers a Break (WSJ)
A rare silver lining in the airline industry, which is basically all dark, rain clouds 24/7. Those plane delays everyone is talking about? it's good for the airline in the sense that they're not exactly in the mood to be taking on more planes these days, what with everything they've got on their plate. And nobody is interested in seeing more capacity come online. We'll see, maybe some of these fair increases will stick, though history wouldn't look on such a notion kindly.
Triple Threat (American)
There are certain things you want to have happened in your lifetime. Seeing a Triple Crown in horse racing is certainly one of them, and now that has a chance of happening. Obnoxiously, Big Brown's trainer has called a Belmont win a "foregone conclusion" (hint: it's not). We're still betting it won't happen, just cause we don't want to have our heart broken again. Anyway, as The American points out, the long-term prognoses for thoroughbred racing isn't too hot, as the industry suffers from "backward economics": Quite simply, both potential and actual stars are more valuable in the breeding shed than on the racetrack. A similar phenomenon affects human superstars such as Tiger Woods, who now earns more from commercials than he does from golf tournaments; but at least Woods shows up year after year for the majors, and that is ultimately what counts for the sport of golf. Early retirement robs horse racing of the superstars that are capable of grabbing public attention and keeping people interested in the sport. Any thoughts on this?
Heating oil sticker shock to hit New England (AP)
Talking about heating oil sticker shock in June? What's next, are people going to start thinking ahead and buy their winter coats when they're still cheap, during the summer?


College Alumni Magazines Struggle to Compete With Facebook (NYT)
Given the time we've spent connecting with old classmates, it's not hard to believe that Facebook has helped make the alumni magazines less relevant? Why subscribe to some quarterly journal to find out that someong you might've known is now clerking for the Supreme Court, when you can go over to their profile and find out that they're not only clerking for the Supreme Court, but that they've also put on a lot of weight. On the other hand, that magazine 02138, about Harvard, seems to have done well and that's where Facebook is from. On the other hand, half of its content seems to be about Facebook.
Hedge Funds Cut Oil Bets as Prices Rose, CFTC Probed (Bloomberg)
Even for speculators, oil is not necessarily a Giffen good. The data shows that hedge funds have reduce their long bets on oil over the past year by a significant amount... on the other hand, that hasn't had any dampening on the price of oil. And this may help make the case that to accuse speculators of driving the run-up is pretty well absurd, and a dead end worth turning out of. Don't bet on that though.
Merkel, Germany Veer Toward Left, Risking Export-Fueled Gains (Bloomberg)
What's the deal, is there just something about Europe that commands politicians to go all lefty?
Vietnam losing allure for investors (FT)
A couple years ago it was all Vietnam-Vietnam-Vietnam-Vietnam. You don't really hear so much about them these days, but we had just assumed the growth case was totally intact and that was that and that if GE is going to set up some new turbine plant, they'd go there. Maybe things aren't going so swimmingly, though perhaps Carney would do a better job of addressing that. Inflation in the last year: 25 percent. Kind of makes your piddly increase in cereal prices kinda inconsequential.

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