US Firms Recovering, Chinese Economy Racing

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The stock market continues to climb as earnings week moves on. A solid top and bottom-line beat by Yum Brands (YUM) reassured investors that consumers will sill eat Taco Bell even in a recession. UPS guided up a couple weeks ahead of their earnings report letting investors know that the global shipping business is on the rebound. Google (GOOG) and General Electric (GE) will be market movers tonight and tomorrow morning, respectively.

China reported 11.9% GDP growth, the quickest pace in nearly three years. This growth is coupled with a meager 2.4% inflation rate year-over-year. As Fund My Mutual Fund points out "the latest data showed China is on the verge of overtaking Japan as the second-largest economy behind the United States. China's gross domestic product last year was $4.9 trillion, just behind Japan's $5.1 trillion. Tokyo has yet to report first-quarter figures." Impressive to say the least. We'll see how long James Chanos of the "cynical" Kynikos Associates can stay with the short China play. The problem with bubbles is that they can persist far longer than you can stay solvent.

"Fewer than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to combat swine flu have been administered, as demand fell off rapidly when panic faded. About 71 million doses already in vials and syringes will soon have to be discarded when their expiration dates pass." (The Washington Post via The Week) There's gotta be something to be said for media sensationalization leading to a terrible misallocation of resources because of sheer panic. We've gotta avoid the hysteria, there's a difference between panic and preparedness.
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