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Opening Bell: 7.22.08

What Cool New Stuff Is Apple Cooking Up? (GigaOM)
Apple shares got whacked yesterday because the company offered up a cautious outlook. On the conference call, it explained that that a "future product transition" would hit sales and margins, but CFO Peter Oppenheimer couldn't get into details. All he'd say is that the company would do something aggressive on the price front. So maybe introduce a new, cool product at a real cheap price. Or maybe slash the current prices on something like crazy. This is perfect, since it has Apple fanboy's tongues a wagging, not to mention the entire tech blogosphere. Any guesses?
Women Are Now Equal as Victims of Poor Economy (NYT)
This article seems to address a serious subject -- the effect that the weak economy is having on women -- but, man, the title. Straight out of The Onion. And everyone's going to think that, not just us, who who thinks every headline is straight from The Onion. Anyway, the article's point (it seems): Men started "dropping out" of the economy awhile ago. Basically sitting at home, giving up on the idea that they might ever get a job. Now women are too. According to BLS statistics, for the first time in decades, the percentage of women in the workforce has slipped.
Roche Bid Blindsided Genentech (WSJ)
Eventually the bell tools. The parent beckons. Come home. Your time out, playing upon the Elysian Fields must end. That's Genentech. Following Roche's offer for it yesterday, the Bay Area-based biotech didn't have a response. But lower down, employees are surprised, and evidently the move comes as a total shock. Not that they'll be able to do much about it. Roche is already kind of the parent. But you'd think parents would be more communicative with their kids.
A New Big Play for Alex Rodriguez (WSJ)
ATTN: A-Rod Haters. Here's some new fodder for ya. The Yankees star has hired a talent agent from the William Morris Agency. He's not giving up on his own superagent Scott Boras for baseball stuff. But when it comes to music videos, movies, TV shows, deodorant commercials and acoustic folk albums, a baseball agent isn't the right man for the job.

Obama Uses Cash Edge Over McCain to Hire Campaign Operatives (Bloomberg)
Once the primaries were over, and we stopped being able to use the betting markets as a hook to write about politics, we pretty much stopped. But technically, who's going to stop us if we feel like it? That's right, nobody. So Obama's been hiring operatives in red states. He has the cash, so he can spend in red states, when in otherwise that might be frivolous. This could be the main reason Obama wins. The fact that he's putting some of these states (Colorado, Virgina, Montana) on the map at all is something past Democratic candidates could only dream of. Seriously, if Obama makes it close in Colorado, and forces McCain to devote serious resources to holding it, how is that not game over?
Presented for your reading pleasure: a Fresh S-1(A) filing for the wonderfully named "Purple Beverage Company". Their business description: "We develop, market, and distribute unique beverage brands and products that are positioned as "better for you" beverages and are targeted to the growing category of "new age/functional" beverage consumers. We own the rights to the " Purple™" brand, a new functional beverage that contains a high level of anti-oxidants that are found in seven different natural fruit juices that combine to make our product. We launched Purple in the summer of 2007." And here's their website at Unfortunately, it's Acai juice, not the purple drink you were expecting, but still.
Samurai Swords: Ancient Metals Technology (MetalMiner)
An appreciation of the amazing engineering that went into ancient Samurai swords.
UK grocery acquisition (Oligopoly Watch)
Some perspective on the consolidation of the UK grocery industry.