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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Daily Round Up


The president is in Italy for the G8 summit. So far, the major news is that there is still no agreement on climate change.

President Barack Obama is likely to come home from a series of back-to-back international summits here without agreement on the crux of a global deal to limit climate change, after developing countries balked at setting numerical targets to reduce their carbon emissions, U.S. officials said.

The problem is that both India and China want no part of any climate change agreement. President Obama would likely have used an agreement to put pressure domestically to pass cap and trade. He'll still push hard but this will take a little of the steam out of that effort.

The protests continued in China. The situation has become so dire that Chairman Hu had to cut his trip to the G8 early to go back to China. Costa Rica has succeeded in orchestrating an effort to end the crisis in Honduras. Tomorrow, Costa Rica will host both sides in order to get an agreement.


U.S. officials discovered a serious cyber attack that overwhelmed many government web sites. Officials believe that the attack originated in North Korea.

U.S. authorities on Wednesday eyed North Korea as the origin of the widespread cyber attack that overwhelmed government Web sites in the United States and South Korea, although they warned it would be difficult to definitively identify the attackers quickly.

The powerful attack that targeted dozens of government and private sites underscored how unevenly prepared the U.S. government is to block such multipronged assaults.

While Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission Web sites were shut down by the software attack, which lasted for days over the holiday weekend, others such as the Pentagon and the White House were able to fend it off with little disruption.

In Illinois, Lisa Madigan announced she wouldn't run for Senate in the Democratic primary. Now, speculation will increase that she will run for the Governor. Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk has announced he will run for the U.S. Senate. This was of no surprise. Kirk has recently come under Republican fire for supporting cap and trade. He is however by far the Republican with the best shot to win. Now, Republicans will have to choose whether they want to back someone that can win or someone with a pure ideology.

Meanwhile, a government watch dog released a report that showed that undercover agents were able to breach security at government buildings with liquids and bomb making material.


The equity markets were relatively unchanged. The Dow was up 14, the NASDAQ was up 1, and the S&P was down 1. Alcoa reported stronger than expected earnings. The consensus had them losing 38 cents a share and the number came in at a loss of only 26 cents a share. The big news, however, was the much better than expected auction of the three year treasury bond. It send bond prices up, and rates down. The Ten Year Bond was down below 3.30%. Mortgage rates have now fallen below 5.5% again. Meanwhile, oil prices fell to to just over $60 per barrel.

The weaker than expected jobs numbers continue to drive most of the market. It is, however, forcing interest rates and gas prices down. So, we should see mortgage activity pick up as a result. Such is the yo yo economy we are currently in.


The death of Steve McNair was officially ruled a murder/suicide. Shawn Marion has been traded to the Mavericks in a three team deal. Lance Armstrong continues to be just behind the leader. Finally, Anderson Verajao resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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