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A few notes for a Monday

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 business commentator

Dallas, TX – I love weekends. Besides for the obvious reasons, those two little days really help put things in perspective. And Monday comes and everything is fresh and new. Okay, I'm just talking about the stock market and I'm just talking about this week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

After two months of heavy selling pressure, it's nice to see the market up for a third straight day, at least for now. Hey, I got to hedge myself. I'm not quite sure exactly which event last Wednesday caused this reversal. Last Wednesday, the Dow Jones Average made a five-year low only to rally almost 500 points on the largest volume day in history. So was it the fact that Congress actually put a bill on the President's desk cracking down on those corporate bad boys? Or was it seeing a few of those corporate bad boys from Adelphia being taken away in handcuffs? Either way, investors liked what they saw and heard.

A little note from First Call. They're the highly reputable research network. With earnings reported by more than the majority of companies from the Standard and Poor's 500, First Call believes when all is said and done this will be the most profitable quarter for the S&P 500 since the fourth quarter of 2000. Profits for the index will be up 1%. And on another topic, you might remember that on Friday I sort of went on a little rant about the bankruptcy bill getting passed in Washington. This bill would make it much harder for consumers to eliminate debt in troubled times. But guess what? To the surprise of most everyone late Friday night, a little speed bump in the road caused the vote to be postponed.

So if I may quote the New York Times, who originally printed this story. "The dispute involves an effort to prevent anti-abortion protesters, such as Randall Terry of Operation Rescue, from filing for bankruptcy protection to avoid court-ordered fines." That's right, because of one person and a few Enron execs Congress feels we need a whole new law. But this debate is five years old. At least now consumer groups can rally the support they need for a more realistic bill. And may the debate last another five years. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.


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