U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates – traveling to Singapore for a defense conference – says China was surprised by North Korea’s test of a nuclear device earlier this week. You’ll recall the device was bigger than its first-ever such test, in 2006, and was followed by a flurry of short-range missile test fires. “Just based on what the Chinese government has said publicly, they’re clearly pretty unhappy about the nuclear test in particular, and they weren’t very happy about the missile test, either,” the WSJ’s Peter Spiegel quotes Gates as saying. This is enormously significant; one can only guess at the non-public knowledge Gates has of China’s reaction to Pyongyang’s shenanigans. What’s shaping up is a strong, united approach to the North Korean nuclear dictatorship led by the world’s two superpowers. It will be interesting to see what role Russia plays but Moscow will probably calculate there’s no upside to dissing Washington and Beijing on this particular issue. Here’s the WSJ story with additional Gates comments: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124356144592465073.html Continue reading…
Archive for May 28th, 2009
The chart tells about all you need to know about Dell Inc. The company’s big exposure to the personal computer marketplace has weighed heavily on its stock. Over the past year, Dell shares have fallen close to 50% while the Nasdaq is off around 30%. Today’s earnings report explains it in detail. It reported earnings of 15 cents a share while analysts were expecting 23 cents. Sales were $12.3 billion, about $300 million less than what was expected. Its large enterprise business unit saw sales drop 31% from a year ago. Government spending was down 11% (schools included here). Small and medium business customers spent 30% less. And consumers spent about 16% less. The company has been trying to manage costs – it has been aggressviely cutting inventory, for example. But you can only cut so much. The company is hopeful IT spending wil turn around later in the year. But until then, it will continue to be painful for shareholders.
Banks, Credit Crisis, Credit Markets, Currencies, Economy, Investing, U.S. Dollar, U.S. Treasurys, Wall Street / 1 Comment
We’ve woken up to a something new in the U.S. Treasurys market. It now looks more like the market in foreign exchange.
By that I mean a cat-and-mouse game between traders and a government entity constitutes at least one dynamic in determining trading action and prices.
For years, periodic government intervention to support a currency, sometimes concerted among a group of countries to achieve a common aim, has been a consideration for traders in the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the yen and other major currencies.