COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Despite a little dip yesterday, the second quarter of 2009 went into the books as a winner. Leading the way was the Nasdaq composite with a gain of 20 percent during the three-month period, followed by the S&P 500 up 15 percent and the Dow Jones industrials gained 11 percent. The Dow was down for June -- just 0.6 percent -- but it did snap a string of three consecutive months to the upside. The Dow had not had a positive quarter since the third quarter of 2007.

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Two different reports on the job market are out today. The ADP private employment report for June found that U.S. payrolls fell by 473,000, a number well above expectations. The official Labor Department report comes out tomorrow. However, the Challenger Gray & Christmas survey of corporate layoff announcements showed a dramatic decline. A total of 74,393 planned cuts were reported, down 33 percent from the previous month and the lowest level since September 2007. Remember, these are announced cuts, not actual payroll reductions.

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The tendency to embellish bad news was again evident at CNBC this morning. Anchor Becky Quick began a story by saying, "Job cuts at USA Today." She then read the rest of the story about Gannett, the publisher of what some call McPaper, cutting 1,000 jobs. The copy on the prompter then said that the cuts would be at the corporate levels with no jobs being eliminated at USA Today.

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I mentioned in this column a couple of weeks ago that Upper Deck, the Carlsbad collectibles company, was selling three shirts worn by Tiger Woods in the first three rounds of the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The autographed shirts were priced at $30,000, $40,000 and $50,000. They're gone. Upper Deck hasn't announced plans to sell the shirts Tiger wore in the fourth round or in the Monday playoff with Rocco Mediate. No doubt those would sell in the six-figure range.

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Buying merchandise on the Internet could soon be more difficult and expensive. Overstock.com announced this morning it is cutting its affiliation with advertisers in California and other states that are passing laws that require the collection of sales taxes on items sold online. Last year, Overstock.com severed its relationship with 3,400 companies in New York when it passed an anti-Internet tax law. "Sadly, the business of Internet advertising will be one more good U.S. business that will eventually migrate overseas," said CEO Patrick Byrne.

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San Diego did not make the list of the 20 sweatiest cities in America. The top ranking went to Phoenix, which has earned the honor in six of the past seven years. Five of the cities on the list are from Florida. Old Spice, which calculated the perspiration, said the Florida cities "produced nearly 2 million gallons of sweat."

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