November 13, 2012
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(Note: This is Mark Vickery, substituting for Sheraz Mian
while he is away.)
With 3rd quarter earnings season beginning to wind down and
before holiday season begins for retailers toward the end of this
month, fearful scenarios pertaining to the issue of the Fiscal
Cliff remain front and center. But the thing is: what is there to
say about it?
Until Congress sits down and forges a workable compromise that
does not suddenly reduce funds for Social Security, the Defense
industry and a host of other federal programs, we can be expected
to go over this Fiscal Cliff and usher in economic disaster
beginning January of next year. I tend to see it more as a fiscal
waterfall -- one that we are drifting down the river toward, in a
wooden barrel controlled by Rep. John Boehner, Sen. Harry Reid
and a handful of others.
Speculative imagery aside, European markets dipped during Tuesday
trading due to another persistent issue the global economy is
having trouble reckoning with: Greece's debt management. Though
the country passed its austerity budget yesterday, today there is
still a disconnect between Greece's creditors and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding when it is expected
to meet its monetary targets. Basically, creditors are giving
Greece a couple more years to reach its targets, but the IMF want
a more stringent policy over the long term (out to 2020).
) beats earnings estimates and guided higher. The company is up
in pre-market trading, albeit slightly, and this news can be seen
as another step toward a strengthening housing market. Today
after the closing bell, networking giant
) reports quarterly earnings -- the last of the important tech
firms. Bear in mind this has been far from a terrific earnings
season for the tech industry.
Speaking of Big Tech, another main player at
) has found the door. Steve Sinofsky, the President of
Microsoft's Windows division, is stepping down. Following
Microsoft Surface's modest initial sales, the man behind Windows
8 is "pursuing other opportunities." This follows a trend not
only at Microsoft but
) as well, and as if Big Tech hasn't had enough challenges in the
market lately, MSFT shares are down ahead of the bell today.