George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

July 7, 2015

Investors seem to be at a crossroads when it comes to Greece. Now that the voters there have decided to reject any bailout requiring austerity actions, most people, either in the EU or elsewhere, have little sympathy for their financial crisis. And the patience of investors continues to be stretched as the fear that Greece could just be the first domino in the EU to fall if things aren't dealt with quickly grows. The Dow industrials fell 46 points yesterday and are down triple digits in early trading today.

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Investors seem to be at a crossroads when it comes to Greece. Now that the voters there have decided to reject any bailout requiring austerity actions, most people, either in the EU or elsewhere, have little sympathy for their financial crisis.

At the same time, commodity prices are getting hammered. Oil dropped 8 percent yesterday and is falling sharply again today, dropping to below $51 a barrel. Just a week ago the price was more than $60. The deep decline in the Chinese economy and surging oil production, with record petroleum inventories, are pushing prices lower.

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And gold has also hit the skids, down $23 an ounce to $1,150. It is amazing how many "experts" continue to tout gold as the safe place to put your money considering the price of the metal is down sharply from $1,911 in 2011 while stock prices have moved significantly higher.

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Folks from San Diego-based OncoSec Medical were in Times Square this morning to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite. CEO Punit Dhillon and others from the company were there to celebrate the recent move up from the OTC to the Nasdaq. OncoSec is currently initiating trials to test treatments for various types of cancer. The shares trade under the symbol ONCS.

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The number of jobs available in the U.S. continues to climb higher. The Department of Labor reported this morning that there were a record 5.36 million job openings at the end of May, up from 5.33 million in the previous month. The so-called JOLTS report -- job openings and labor turnover survey -- showed there is one job available for every 1.6 people looking for work. It wasn't that many years ago the ratio was one job for every eight people seeking employment. The report also showed 2.7 million people quit their jobs in May, a very positive sign as people usually quit their current employment to take a new, and assumedly better job, somewhere else.

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Carnival has received permission from the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments to begin cruises to Cuba in May 2016. The trips from Miami will be part of a new brand at Carnival: Fathom, "a new social impact travel brand providing purpose-oriented, social impact experiences." Bet you haven't heard those terms used with most cruises. According to the company's news release, "the new Cuban itineraries will strictly comply with rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people." That would include, "cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens." Does that include $1 shooters during happy hour around the pool?

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So, Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked golfer in the world, decides to play soccer with a bunch of his buddies from Northern Island. What happens? He rips apart some tendons around his left ankle and is likely to miss the Open Championship next week at St. Andres. Jordan Spieth surely sent along his sympathies.

More George Chamberlin Columns

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Investors seem to be at a crossroads when it comes to Greece. Now that the voters there have decided to reject any bailout requiring austerity actions, most people, either in the EU or elsewhere, have little sympathy for their financial crisis.

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Stocks are toast. That's the way MarketWatch.com, owned by the Wall Street Journal, described the way the stock market would react to the latest disappointments out of Greece.

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It’s been quite a run. Despite a less-than-spectacular first six months in 2015, the stock market has rewarded investors handsomely since the end of the Great Recession.

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Didn't take very long for Greece to disappear from the headlines, only to be replaced by Donald Trump. For the past three weeks the markets have been rattled by fear the default by the Greek government on billions of dollars in interest payments would send the global markets into a tailspin.

Weekly Updates

George Chamberlin on the Markets

July 6, 2015 -- Executive Editor George Chamberlin recaps last week's financial events and looks at the week's upcoming announcements.

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Video Interviews

Interview with CBRE's Mike Hoeck

June 29, 2015 -- George Chamberlin and Mike Hoeck, a first vice president with CBRE, discuss how changes in the legal industry and the work environment affect law office space

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