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Opening Bell: 8.18.08

Musharraf Is Resigning (WSJ)
This has been expected. Pakistani President Peverz Musharraf is resigning. The resignation comes as impeachment charges were set to begin, but, alas, Musharraf wanted to do what was right for the country, even though he felt he would've beaten the charges (no idea on that). More from NDTV and the Economic Times of India, which notes that Pakistani shares spiked 4.5 percent on the news. Does anyone know how much that is in dollars?
Media coverage of the economy lags, study finds (AP)
Amusing: A report from The Project for Excellence in Journalism maintains that the news media is behind the curve when it comes to reporting on the economy. Much of it has to do with over-reliance on government data, which is, itself, often behind the times. Perhaps you'd expect otherwise, but we'll cut the newsmedia some slack. Most journalists don't really have the wherewithall, the time, or intelligence to be ahead of the curve economically. Sure you have some standouts, like whoever it was at the FT that warned about subprime a year early. Or those of us here at Dealbreaker that said options backdating was a load of hot air. But really, such cases will always be few and far between. If you want to have a cutting edge understanding of the economy, it's highly unlikely that the news media will ever be your best avenue -- nor should it be.
Home Depot May Say Annual Profit Will Fall More Than Forecast (Bloomberg)
A preview of Home Depot's earnings report on tap for tomorrow: The basic gist: Despite the recent rally in Home Depot shares (they've bounced 28 percent, not bad), the housing slump is still the housing slump and results may still be pretty weak. Then again, as Cramer says, the market is telling us that in 9 months housing will be back, so no need to worry about today.
A Surprise Winner at the Olympic Games in Beijing: NBC (NYT)
Prediction: This next week is going to suck for NBC. Sure the first week was really great, with stellar ratings, as everyone tuned in to watch Michael Phelps get a gold night in and night out. This week, what's to watch for? All the marquee track and field events are on tape delay. And besides, it looks like the US is going to suck wind in 'em. Out of the two 100m dashes, we got one bronze medal.

Predict Olympic medal counts on Yoopick (Oddhead Blog)
We've been doing lots of thinking about the Olympic Medal count. We still believe that total medals, regardless of denomination is the way to go. Though your mileage may vary on that. Also, sounds like there's some Facebook app for prediction, mentioned above -- we'll be curious how that ultimately turns out. Also, thought this post was interesting. It's about an economist that uses stuff like the GDP to predict medal counts. Interesting, but we're skeptical.
MS and Goldman change approach to lending (FT)
This says something about Goldman and Morgan Stanley taking a more cautious approach towards lending to hedge funds. Sounds like pretty good timing.
'Dark Knight' Still Ablaze in Fourth Week...(Box Office Mojo)
Dark Knight's holding power is pretty impressive, especially in this day and age, where films usually die at the box office in about two weeks. The film has now grossed about $472 million, making it the second domestic box office haul of all time, after Titanic. Of course, that's nominal. Inflation adjusted, it's in 39th. Right behind. Beverly Hills Cop.