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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

It was almost as if, "as IBM goes, so goes the market." The tone of the week was set on Monday by IBM's ominous warning that they would not meet earning expectations. This brought technology down, as well as the Dow Jones Average. IBM's a really big company. Then came the news that the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, had been investigating IBM for what other than accounting problems. This probe was revealed yesterday, a day after the market and IBM had a slight rebound. Investors were justifiably concerned over this investigation, and IBM hit its 52-week low yesterday, bringing the rest of the market down with it. Then after the close, the SEC let it be known that they had closed the case without needing to take any action against IBM. Yipee! IBM is up today. But I'm tellin' you, the SEC isn't messin' around. They've started investigating Xerox. They should have done this years ago.

This is not a witch-hunt. Not yet, anyway. The big corporations need to quit using creative accounting and deception. It will no longer accepted by the powers-that-be, or the educated and badly-burned investor.

On a more positive note?though the retail sales number was not what was expected, it still rose. Upbeat earnings for Sears, Plano-based J.C. Penney, Fort Worth-based Pier 1, Target, and Kohl's prove the consumer still wants to shop.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the number one company in the world. Wal-Mart also came in with higher earnings. Economists are expecting this spending to level off, based on today's consumer sentiment number. It was down a little from last month. Hey, I wouldn't hold my breath?

And a much-anticipated IPO, initial public offering, began trading today. JetBlue is the airline pegged to give Dallas-based Southwest Airlines some competition amongst airline investors. Doesn't it seem like a strange time for an airline to go public? But there are high hopes for JetBlue. I hope they're right.

Stay healthy and happy. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.


Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 P.M.