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George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

The stock market continues to close in on all-time highs. Friday saw the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 finish the day at the highest level since December 2007. The Dow closed at 13,650, less than 4 percent of the record close of 14,164 set on Oct. 9, 2007. The markets had been down for a good portion of the day on Friday but reversed direction and moved higher after it was reported that Congressional leaders were proposing a plan to extend the federal borrowing limit for three months. The markets are closed today for the traditional recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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Speaking of the stock market, investors can take cheer of the pairing for the upcoming Super Bowl game. The match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens features two teams with roots back to the original National Football League. In 37 of the past 46 Super Bowls the stock market has gone up when an NFL team wins or goes down when a team from the old American Football League wins. Since both team are NFL veterans it looks like the markets are heading higher in 2013. "Wait a minute," you say, "the Ravens have only been around since 1996." True, but they moved to Baltimore that year from Cleveland where, of course, they were the Browns, one of the original NFL franchises.

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When investors get back to work tomorrow, there will be a fair amount of economic news that could move the markets. Most of the economic reports involve housing updates of December's new and existing home sales. And, it will be a very busy week for corporate earnings, including quarterly reports from Google and Apple.

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Most investors, appropriately, get rather annoyed when they see the compensation paid to the CEOs of companies they may own. However, news that Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger received an 18 percent pay raise last year to $37 million is a bit easier to swallow when you consider the performance of the company and its stock in 2012, including record earnings and profits, an all-time high for the stock and a 25 percent increase in the company's dividend.

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The company that brought us "Pong," "Asteroids" and "Centipede" has filed for bankruptcy this morning. Atari, which owns a portfolio of more than 200 video games, has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to go through reorganization. The company is currently owned by a French parent and has asked the court's permission to separate in order to facilitate the bankruptcy.

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A guy named Rick Champagne paid $4.6 million to buy the original Batmobile from the 1966 TV show, "Batman," featuring Adam West. Champagne, who made a fortune in the tech boom, says the car will become a regular feature in his Tempe, Ariz., home. The Batmobile actually got its start as a concept car built by Lincoln. Car customizer George Barris, who put the car up for sale, remodeled the car to look like a vehicle a super hero would need to save the world.

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The auction Saturday in Scottsdale also featured several other cars. The first 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray sold for $1.1 million. The limited edition car, introduced last week at the Detroit auto show, was bought by NASCAR team owner Richard Hendrick. The proceeds from the Corvette auction will benefit the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, famous for its auto design program.

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Imagine shooting four rounds of golf with scores of 65, 67, 67 and 68, and finishing four strokes behind the tournament winner. That's what happened to Poway native Charley Hoffman this past weekend in the Humana tournament -- formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic -- over in the Coachella Valley. The tournament was ultimately won by Brian Gay in a playoff. Hoffman and the other boys of the PGA -- including Tiger Woods -- are now gathering in San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Phil Mickelson played well in the desert after carding a disappointing 72 in the first round, followed by a 67, 66 and 66. That put him eight strokes behind the winner. You can bet Phil will be a fan favorite at Torrey.

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By the way, the PGA pairings for the Farmers have Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate playing together in the first two rounds. That, of course, puts the guys together who made the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey one of the greatest tournaments ever, especially their Monday playoff.

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