Opening Bell: 8.15.08

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Sterling loses more ground against the dollar (AP)
The dollar is un-stop-a-bull! Another day, another gain against a major world currency. Not that this is only a good thing. Like, wasn't the cheap dollar going to help make the US a low-cost manufacturing nation again? Oh, and doesn't it inflate the earnings of basically every multinational US company? Yes, it does. In fact, interesting report yesterday from an analyst looking at major hardware companies and how much of an earnings hit they stand to take if the dollar keeps firming.
Stocks head for higher open as oil falls (AP)
Oil's falling again, sure, but back below $114? Haven't we played this song before? It's time to really move on. Do we hear $110? $105?
Two Large Solar Plants Planned in California (NYT)
Some mammoth solar plants are being built in California that will produce some 10x electricity as the largest one in operation today. Sounds pretty impressive. We just hope they're not predicated on $115 oil. Cause, you know. The plant, which will span 12.5 square miles (let that sink in for a second), will produce as much electricity as a big coal plant. Did we mention it will be 12.5 square miles?
Merrill Books Losses Through U.K., Can Offset Taxes (Bloomberg)
Good news for Merrill: Apparently the way the company booked its losses in the UK will allow it to avoid taxes -- in the UK -- for years to come.
World Economy Shows New Strain (WSJ)
Newsflash! Basically every major economic region is flirting with a recession. Japan, Europe, US, etc. Sure, global GDP is still expected to grow this year, but the more you look at the component parts, it all looks fairly sickly. And not in a sickly sweet way, but just in a sickly sick way. Hopefully it's not true, and that this doesn't have anything to do with declining oil prices. Also, check out the carnage of silver, wheat and copper.

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