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Best September in 70 years, plus other economic news

Happy Friday to everybody. I hope you have a good weekend.

At the end of last week, there was a series of articles showing that the economy is not only stabilizing but seeming to slowly grow. The fears for the “double dip” recession have mostly disappeared. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 7.7% in September.

From MSNBC: The Dow gained 7.7 percent in the month, making it the strongest September since 1939, at the dawn of World War II. However that runup followed a dismal August, and the Dow is still only up 3.5 percent for the year and is 3.7 percent below its closing high for 2010 reached on April 26.

Technology shares, which have been among the best performers this month, led Thursday’s pullback. Major technology companies like Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and Google Inc. were all down about 1 percent.

“You can’t underestimate people taking profits,” said T.C. Robillard Jr., a managing director at investment bank Signal Hill. Robillard said that like most reports throughout the month, Thursday’s batch of data only confirmed that the economy is growing very slowly.

Major indexes have been surging all month on signs of incremental improvement in the economy, which have allayed worries that the country would fall back into recession.

The list of the top 10 largest hedge funds has been released. (I’m not sure how you make this list since hedge funds work to stay underneath the radar.)

Firm AUM (assets under management) $ billions
Bridgewater Associates 50.9
J.P. Morgan 41.1
Paulson and Company 31
Soros Fund Management 27
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group 25.3
Blackrock 22.83
Angelo, Gordon and Company 22. 68
Baupost Group 22
Farallon Capital Management 20
King Street Capital Management 19.3

In other financial news, a $4.1 billion trade was blamed for starting the “Flash Crash” in the middle of May. The security and exchange commission issued a report in which they pointed the finger at a trading firm in Overland Park, Kansas. This single trade set in motion a series of events which caused the Dow Jones industrial average to plunge nearly 1000 points in less than 30 min.

From HuffPo: The free-fall highlighted the complexity and perils of the fast-evolving securities markets. Electronic trading platforms now compete with the traditional exchanges. Stocks are traded on about 50 exchanges beyond the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Computers using mathematical formulas give so-called “high frequency” traders a split-second edge. Electronic errors at high speeds can ripple through markets.

Automakers had a pretty good month in September (may need a subscription [it’s the WSJ what can I say]).

Manufacturing news doesn’t suck. There is expansion but at a slower than expected pace. So, all-n-all the news from the economy was positive.

I’ll finish my series on LTCM later on tonight.

By |2010-10-01T17:16:14-04:00October 1st, 2010|Business, Economy|Comments Off on Best September in 70 years, plus other economic news

Can Anyone Take on Google?

Microsoft has tried and failed. Yahoo! is a shadow of its former self. Ask and the other search engines are bringing up the rear. So, can Anna Patterson, a former Google employee, make Google cry “Uncle”? Patterson may have built a better mouse trap but it is still going to be hard to unseat Google. After all, you don’t just search the web, you Google it!
From CNN:

Anna Patterson’s last Internet search engine was so impressive that industry leader Google Inc. bought the technology in 2004 to upgrade its own system.

She believes her latest invention is even more valuable – only this time it’s not for sale.

Patterson instead intends to upstage Google, which she quit in 2006 to develop a more comprehensive and efficient way to scour the Internet.

The end result is Cuil, pronounced “cool.” Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday.

Cuil had kept a low profile while Patterson, her husband, Tom Costello, and two other former Google engineers – Russell Power and Louis Monier – searched for better ways to search. (more… )

By |2008-07-28T10:01:39-04:00July 28th, 2008|Blogging issues|1 Comment
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