Morning Report

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1321.7 1.9 0.14%
Eurostoxx Index 2474.0 3.2 0.13%
Oil (WTI) 96.59 -1.0 -1.04%
LIBOR 0.5306 -0.007 -1.21%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.078 0.216 0.27%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.83% 0.00%

Stocks are flat this morning, with a lot of data.  Productivity was up .7% and unit labor costs were up 1.2% for the 4th quarter.  Productivity was below expectations and costs were above.  Initial jobless claims were 367K vs 371K expected.  Continuing claims were slower than expected as well.  Stocks rebounded modestly on the numbers.

Corelogic reported its December Home Price Index and full year 2011. Home prices fell 4.7% nationally during 2011.  The worst states were Illinois, Nevada, Georgia, Ohio, and Minnesota.  Montana, Vermont, South Dakota, Nebraska, and NY reported the highest increases.

Today is the first Thursday of the month, which means retailers are reporting same-store sales. The winners so far appear to be Gap and Kohls.  Ann Taylor and Abercrombie and Fitch (Abercrumble) are bringing up the rear.

Facebook filed its registration statement last night. I have only skimmed the document, but a few things stand out.  First, there are two classes of stock – the B shares which have 10 votes per share and the A shares which have 1. Facebook is selling 5 billion of the A shares.  They did 3.7 billion in revenue in 2011 and have roughly 62% EBITDA margins.  Given the $100 billion price tag, this works out to 27x sales and 45x EBITDA.  Revenues are roughly doubling per year. It will no doubt make zero sense on any sort of reasonable valuation metric, but iconic companies like Apple and Google always trade rich.

Pulte Homes reported earnings this moring.  They are echoing the sentiment of the other homebuilders – noting reasons for optimism regarding profits, and a “growing sense of optimism” about the housing market in general. 4Q earnings were light, though.

Bits & Pieces (Tuesday Night Open Mic)

I a guy who wrote a blog novel got the novel published, there’s going to be a sequel soon, and now the first one has been made into a movie. It’s a weird book, but a great read. Reminded me of Stephen King filtered through tosh.0, in terms of writing style. Fun and imminently readable. It’s called John Dies At the End, and here’s the trailer:

Lionsgate tests simultaneous Facebook rental and DVD release. Is there anyone here who has ever or would ever rent a movie on Facebook?, Netflix, Flixter, sure. But Facebook? Well, maybe.

Dennis Hoff plans to open a sci-fi theme brothel in Nevada. That sounds fun.

I just watched Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. It was strange to watch Gary Gitchell, the lead West Memphis investigator on the case, talking about the case at the time, and then to come in to work the next day and have him walk by my cubicle (he’s head of security for the district). Didn’t really realize until watching the movie that that’s who he was.

All I could think during most of the movie, with the Johnny Depps and Peter Jacksons coming out to hire the best forensic folks to review the case, is that—while these 3 men were not lucky, given their circumstances–they sure are lucky they’re white. Given the prison population in this country, demographically, they couldn’t find someone non-caucasian who had been railroaded to produce 3 HBO documentaries about, and then an independent film?

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