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   PoliticsFormerly About Applied Materials

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60880)2/22/2002 1:13:03 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Initial Jobless Claims Increase
February 22, 2002

ASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (Bloomberg News) — The number of Americans who filed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 10,000 last week, the Labor Department reported today.

The number remained below 400,000 for the seventh consecutive week, the longest such stretch since the recession began almost a year ago, providing a sign of recovery.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that the United States trade deficit in goods and services unexpectedly narrowed to $25.3 billion in December from $28.6 billion in November as oil prices fell.

For all of 2001, the trade deficit narrowed to $346.3 billion from a record gap of $375.7 billion in 2000.

Two other reports released today offered signs that the economy might be rebounding. The index of leading economic indicators rose in January for a fourth consecutive month and manufacturing in the Philadelphia area improved.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60881)2/22/2002 1:14:34 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Are Investors Too Worried About Cable?
February 22, 2002

There are times when investors grow so worried about what might go wrong that they overestimate the chance that disaster will happen.

Eleven years ago, during the last recession, investor fears crystalized around banks. After a wave of bank failures, it was clear that many banks had abused accounting rules to make themselves look healthier than they were. Many banks traded as if failure was a real possibility. Some did fail, but most did not. It was a great time to buy a portfolio of bank stocks.

Now the fears seem to be biggest around the broad area of communications, both telephone and cable television.

As with the banks, there are good reasons to be fearful. Before the bubble burst, these industries wasted billions of dollars. Huge quantities of fiber optic cable, far beyond what was needed, were produced and installed. Companies were started by promoters who became rich from selling stock long before the companies foundered. Some companies are now bankrupt, and more will be. Shareholders of some companies will be wiped out.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60882)2/22/2002 1:22:02 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Tokyo Stocks Lose 89 Points

The Associated Press
Thursday, February 21, 2002; 10:09 PM

TOKYO –– Tokyo stocks fell Friday morning as investors cashed in gains from a rally the previous day. The dollar was higher against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 89.48 points, or 0.87 percent, to 10,205.94 at the end of morning trading. On Thursday, the average closed up 461.29 points, or 4.69 percent.

The dollar bought 134.08 yen in late morning trading, up 0.32 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo but below its late New York level of 134.20 yen.

On the stock market, investors locked in profits after the blue chip Nikkei index posted sharp gains on Thursday. An overnight slide on Wall Street also dampened sentiment in Tokyo.

Thursday's rally was fueled by hopes that the government will tackle bad debts weighing on Japanese banks in a package of anti-deflationary measures to be released next week.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60883)2/22/2002 1:25:57 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Documents: Market Worried Greenspan
By Martin Crutsinger
AP Economics Writer
Thursday, February 21, 2002; 10:03 PM

WASHINGTON –– Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who sent financial markets reeling with worries in December 1996 about "irrational exuberance," expressed concern about inflated stock prices in closed-door Fed meetings seven months earlier, Fed documents released Thursday show.

Transcripts of the Fed's internal debates during 1996 showed that at the May 21 meeting the stock market's sharp runup in value had the attention of Greenspan and other Fed officials. But they were uncertain what it meant.

"The stock market as best I can judge is high," Greenspan said at the May meeting. "It's not that there is a bubble in there. I am not sure we would know a bubble if we saw it, at least in advance."

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60884)2/22/2002 1:28:34 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Ciena Revenue Falls Sharply in Quarter

By Yuki Noguchi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 22, 2002; Page E01

Ciena Corp. reported yesterday that revenue fell 54 percent in its first quarter and warned that revenue in the current quarter will be much lower than the fiber-optics maker forecast just two weeks ago.

Two of the Linthicum, Md.-based firm's biggest customers canceled or delayed their orders Wednesday evening, which altered sales projections, said Gary B. Smith, chief executive of the firm. Smith said he expects second-quarter revenue to fall to about $100 million -- far short of the $162.2 million in first-quarter sales that the company previously said it would match.

During its first fiscal quarter, which ended Jan. 31, Ciena's revenue fell 54 percent and its losses mounted to $70.6 million (22 cents per share), the company announced yesterday. That compares with revenue of nearly $352 million and net income of $53.2 million, or 19 cents per share during the same period last year.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60885)2/22/2002 1:44:16 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
HK stocks open lower after Wall St losses and jobless surge
Friday February 22, 10:25 AM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks opened lower on Friday, hurt by a more than three percent slide in the U.S. Nasdaq and a leap in Hong Kong's unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, its highest level in decades.

Blue chips were down across the board. Technology stocks were notable losers after the Nasdaq, the U.S. technology board, broke technical support, as an earnings downgrade on chip giant Intel Corp hit sentiment.

Banks were hurt by the unemployment hike which raised fears they would face mounting bad debt.

The Hang Seng Index was down 1.76 percent, or 189.50 points, at 10,599.40 at 10.05 a.m. (0205 GMT).

Leading the market down were its two biggest stocks: banking giant HSBC Holdings <0005> and China's biggest mobile phone operator China Mobile <0941>.

HSBC fell 1.15 percent to HK$85.75.

China Mobile dropped 2.17 percent to HK$22.55.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60886)2/22/2002 1:45:21 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Hong Kong's jobless rate hits highest level in decades
By Andrea Ricci
Thursday February 21, 7:00 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's jobless rate soared to 6.7 percent in the three months to end-January, the highest in decades and well above levels seen during the depths of the Asian financial crisis.

The figure was far above economists' expectations of 6.3 percent and well above the 6.4 percent hit in the spring of 1999, when joblessness was last at its peak.

It was also the highest rate since 1981, when the government began using the statistical model it employs now.

A growing number of companies in the territory have been cutting staff, slashing salaries or asking workers to take unpaid leave in a bid to trim costs as the economy threatens to tip into its second recession in four years.

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60887)2/22/2002 1:52:01 AM
From: StanX Long
   of 70976
Singapore share index sinks to four-week low midday
Friday February 22, 1:50 PM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's bellwether stock index skidded over two percent on Friday to a four-week low as investors dashed for the exits after Wall Street's sharp losses on fears of shrinking U.S. corporate profits.

By midday, the Straits Times Index, which managed to reverse a four-day losing streak on Thursday, had fallen 39.62 points below the psychologically key 1,700 mark to 1,692.21. The index came off an early low of 1,691.47.

It is still up more than four percent since the start of the year.

In the broader market, losers led gainers 216 to 20. Volume was a moderate 225 million shares.

U.S. stocks tumbled on Thursday, pushing the tech-laden Nasdaq down to its worst close since late October on worries about shrinking earnings at technology icons like chip maker Intel Corp .

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To: Jacob Snyder who wrote (60847)2/22/2002 5:37:26 AM
From: Sam Citron
   of 70976
OT Telematics

The factory-installed GPS in the new Lexus seems to have a good audio interface. Don't know how comprehensive the restaurant coverage is, particularly in rural areas. You will still need a cell phone to access menu and prices, and to order so the pizza is hot and ready when you arrive.

It's not quite HAL 2001, but it's slowly getting there. <g>

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To: StanX Long who wrote (60884)2/22/2002 6:03:16 AM
From: Sam Citron
   of 70976
Fascinating '96 Fed meeting minutes at

Wish we could get them to join our thread. <g>

Excerpt: Lawrence Lindsey 9/24/96

...But that is not where I am most worried. What worries me
more is that our luck is about to run out in the financial markets
because of what I would consider a gambler's curse: We have won this
long, let us keep the money on the table. You can see early signs of
this. It includes real estate appreciation in the Hamptons,
Connecticut, and Manhattan. BMW and Mercedes both had their best
summer in history in the United States. The IBES earnings
expectations survey for 5-year projected earnings hit a 12-year high
in August. It indicates that earnings are expected to grow at a rate
of a little over 11-1/2 percent per year. Now, if we assume nominal
GDP growth of 5-1/2 percent over the same period, this means that NIPA
profits will rise from 10.7 percent of national income to 14.3 percent
of national income in 2001. Readers of this transcript five years
from now can check this fearless prediction: Profits will fall short
of this expectation. Unfortunately, optimism is ripe in the markets.
Excessive optimism is also necessary to justify current levels of IPO
activity and valuations of highly speculative stocks. While it is not
so large as to exert undue pressure on the real side of the U.S.
economy, this emerging bubble is nonetheless real. AS a survivor of
the so-called Massachusetts miracle to which Cathy Minehan referred
earlier, I can attest that everyone enjoys an economic party. But the
long-term costs of a bubble to the economy and society are potentially
great. They include a reduction in the long-term saving rate, a
seemingly random redistribution of wealth, and the diversion of scarce
financial human capital into the acquisition of wealth. As in the
United States in the late 1920s and Japan in the late 1980s. the case
for a central bank ultimately to burst that bubble becomes
overwhelming. I think it is far better that we do so while the bubble
still resembles surface froth and before the bubble carries the
economy to stratospheric heights. Whenever we do it, it is going to
be painful, however...

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