• News
  • SAN DIEGO
  • Finance

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

It looks like the markets want to make another run to close at a new all-time high. Investors returned from the Presidents' Day weekend in a positive mood and pushed the Dow Industrials up a nifty 54 points to 14,035, just 129 points away from the record close. One stock pushing to a new high was Google. The shares traded as high as $805. The stock has been very successful since the IPO in August 2004, which was priced at $85 a share. It has had very few bumps along the way, unlike Apple and some of the other hot tech companies.

******

A rise in food prices sent the producer price index up 0.2 percent in January. The Department of Labor said the increase snapped three months in a row of declining prices at the wholesale level. Over the past 12 months the PPI has gone up a tepid 1.4 percent. The government will report on inflation at the consumer level tomorrow morning. While the January numbers will likely be rather tame, you can expect a big jump in February as energy prices, especially at the pump, have moved significantly higher.

******

Speaking of inflation, there is some good news for coffee drinkers. J.M. Smucker, the maker of several popular licensed brands of packaged coffees such as Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts, announced this morning it is cutting prices by an average of 6 percent "in response to sustained declines in green coffee costs." There is no word from any of the other coffee companies if they will follow with similar price cuts.

******

A report on MarketWatch.com this morning said "Office Depot on Wednesday said it entered into a definitive merger agreement with OfficeMax." The wires yesterday said there were reports the companies were holding discussions to merge. Well, now it seems a press release from Office Depot was released prematurely and has been taken off the company's website. The word is negotiations are still continuing. Oops.

******

The folks at CNBC are already calling it "Sequestration Friday." It's a reference to March 1, the date massive cuts in federal budgets -- in particular, defense spending -- will automatically occur. The media is going to drive this story into the ground for the next nine days; and then Congress and the Obama administration will agree to extend the date for another three months. I'm calling it Y2K.3, a non-event the media loves.

******

There are reports out this morning saying the FBI is joining the SEC in an investigation of options trading the day before the announcement that H.J. Heinz was being bought by a private investment firm for $28 billion. The SEC issued a press release last week saying it obtained an emergency court order to "freeze assets of a Zurich, Switzerland-based trading account that was used to reap more than $1.7 million from trading in advance of Thursday's public announcement." It is amazing how many people try to pull off insider trading actions and think they won't get caught.

******

I’m off to Escondido this morning to emcee the annual State of the City event with Mayor Sam Abed. The gathering will also include awards to various Escondido employees by members of the City Council.

Leave Your Comment

Comments are moderated by SDDT, in accordance with the SDDT Comment Policy, and may not appear on this commentary until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

SDDT Comment Policy: SDDT encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give SDDT the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. SDDT Privacy Statement.

User Response
0 UserComments

Leave Your Comment

Comments are moderated by SDDT, in accordance with the SDDT Comment Policy, and may not appear on this commentary until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

SDDT Comment Policy: SDDT encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give SDDT the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. SDDT Privacy Statement.

Subscribe Today!