Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Vacation

Summer vacation time, something new to Rink Rats this year, after 171 straight weeks of our blog we are taking a break, yes a summer vacation for Rink Rats. We will be away the next three weeks, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Rico, and Marion Roach Smith will fill in for us while we are away. So, don’t leave us while we are away, enjoy our guest bloggers the next few weeks.

What is a summer vacation? The most profitable summer vacations are the work related conferences or retreats. You get to play, earn work brownie points, and get paid. Not a bad gig. To others a summer vacation is dealing with kids, airport check-ins, and handi wipes – another vacation is needed after all that. Summer vacations are visits to new and faraway places, and once you visit them you ask, “Why did I do this trip?” But to many, this writer included, summer vacations are chances to again spend time with family and enjoy the down time from work, politics, social media, work, morning television, and work.

So off we go, iPad off, Blackberry off, laptop off …where is my charger???

TOMORROW'S FRONT PAGE TODAY - Pope says gays must not be judged or marginalize: Pope Francis, in some of the most conciliatory words from any pontiff on gays, said they should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin. In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil, Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities. He expressed pain over scandals at the Vatican bank during a remarkably forthright press conference, his first since being elected in March to replace Benedict XVI, who became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Francis said there were saints in the Holy See but also 'those who are not very saintly.' The airborne encounter with journalists ranged over issues as varied as the pope's insistence on low-key security to his desire to slip out of the shackles of the Vatican to go for walks.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Tony Bennett (87), Tom Brady (36), Ken Burns (60), Marcel Dionne (62), Tim Gunn (60), Lisa Kudrow (50), President Obama (52), Patti Scialfa (60), Alessandro Suffredini …soccer, hockey he can do it all!

Speaking of birthdays, I recently had a revelation about birthdays. From age 22 to 69 birthdays are marginal at best. Only the young and old have real birthday celebrations. My personal birthday card count set a new low this year.

LARRY SUMMERS NEW FED CHAIRMAN? - Leading Democrats are struggling with the idea that ... Obama may actually nominate ... Summers ... If he does, he'd pass over ... Janet Yellen, who saw the warning signs of the 2008 financial collapse, for Summers, whose deregulatory advocacy as treasury secretary contributed to it. Summers' critics typically cite his role in the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall financial regulations and the 2000 deregulation of the derivatives market as key contributors to the financial collapse of 2008. But Janet Yellen (Federal Reserve Vice Chair) accurately read signs of bank trouble before the crash, when she served as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve."

AUTO BLAST: FORD EARNINGS ROCK - The bulk of Ford Motor Co.'s second-quarter profits once again came from North America, but financial results in other regions have Ford executives the most excited. The Dearborn automaker beat analysts' expectations as profits rose to $1.23 billion during the second quarter ... Abroad, Ford nearly broke even, despite a tumultuous European market, high infrastructure costs in Asia and unfavorable exchange rates in South America. ...

Ford's Asia Pacific Africa region posted its highest quarterly profit ever, Europe's financial results were better than the second quarter last year and South America returned to profitability after a brief period in the red. ... Overall, Ford's $1.23 billion profit represented the 16th consecutive quarter in the black, up 18 percent compared to last year. The automaker earned 45 cents per share - compared to 30 cents last year - topping first-call analyst expectations of 37 cents per share.

GLOBAL ECONOMY - The emerging-market slowdown is not the beginning of a bust. But it is a turning-point for the world economy: China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from the double-digit rates ... in the 2000s. Growth in India (around 5%), Brazil and Russia (around 2.5%) is barely half what it was at the height of the boom. Collectively, emerging markets may (just) match last year's pace of 5%. ... This marks the end of the dramatic first phase of the emerging-market era, which saw such economies jump from 38% of world output to 50% ... over the past decade. Over the next ten years emerging economies will still rise, but more gradually. ...

The booming emerging economies will no longer make up for weakness in rich countries. Without a stronger recovery in America or Japan, or a revival in the euro area, the world economy is unlikely to grow much faster than today's lackluster pace of 3%. Things will feel rather sluggish. It will also become increasingly clear how unusual the past decade was ... It was dominated by the scale of China's boom ... In [the] future, more balanced growth from a broader array of countries will cause smaller ripples around the world. After China and India, the ten next-biggest emerging economies, from Indonesia to Thailand, have a smaller combined population than China alone. Growth will be broader and less reliant on the BRICs (as Goldman Sachs dubbed Brazil, Russia, India and China).

EARNINGS SCORECARD: MIXED SO FAR - After the largest reporting week of the 2Q 2013 season, over 50 percent of the S&P 500 has now reported results. Three takeaways for this week: (1) Sales misses were more likely to be punished than previous quarters; (2) Guidance is negative but an improvement over the past year. No change to bottom-up consensus full-year estimates; and (3) Earnings and sales results are in line with the 10-year historical averages. Next week is the last major week of the 2Q season.


- (CFL, Aug. 2) Edmonton Eskimos 32 Hamilton Tiger Cats 24  
- (Whitney Handicap, Saratoga, Aug. 3) Todd Pletcher’s Cross Traffic to win
- (MLB, Aug. 4) Atlanta Braves 6 Philadelphia Phillies 4

Season to Date (15-9).

MARKET WEEK – The Dow and S&P 500 come off a week of very little movement, as investors await this week's meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers as well as Friday's July employment report. The Dow rose 15 points for the week, while the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged. With three trading days to go in July, the S&P 500 is on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 2011.

DRIVING THE WEEK – President Obama is on the road again talking jobs and the economy on Tuesday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Obama goes to the Hill on Wednesday for a meeting with House and Senate Democrats on jobs and the economy and presumably the fiscal fights ahead when Congress comes back in September with a short clock before a possible shutdown at the end of the month ... Pending homes sales at 10 a.m. expected to dip 1.0 percent after May's big jump ...

Case-Shiller home prices at 9 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 1.5 percent ... ADP private employment at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 180K ... First read on Q2 GDP at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday expected to come in at 1.0 percent ... No change likely in Fed announcement on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ... July jobs report at 8:30 a.m. on Friday expected to show a gain of 185K with unemployment unchanged at 7.6 percent ... Senate Banking has a hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday on Dodd-Frank and monitoring systemic risk featuring SEC's Mary Jo White and CFTC's Gary Gensler ...

The pain for the White House should be short-lived as Friday's jobs number, more of a reflection of where the economy is now then where it was in the second quarter, should come in close to 200,000. ... This would play into the administration's argument going into the debt ceiling fight that it makes little sense to slash more spending now just when the fiscal drag on the economy is getting ready to lift somewhat, clearing the way for closer to 3 percent growth the rest of the year. But that's not likely to mean much to House Republicans.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH – “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” John W. Gardner

AUGUST POLL – Who will win the NFL Super Bowl this coming season (2014)?

·         - Denver Broncos
·         - New England Patriots
·         - Green Bay Packers
·        -  San Francisco 49ers
·        -  Detroit Lions
·       -   Other

Next week: Week 1 of our summer vacation, Andrew Ross Sorkin is our guest blogger next week.

Until Next August 26, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 29, 2013

#IV-15, 172

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