Market Wrap-Up for Feb.8 (MCD, CL, AET, CLX, AVP, more)

The second interest rate hike in China in less than a month is being digested by Wall Street right now with a ho-hum reaction this morning. At some point the market will begin paying a bit more attention. With numerous M&A deals still being announced, and IPOs lining up on the runway, we’re not sure when the buying streak will begin to ease up, but we are carefully examining possible scenarios. Gold prices seem to be perking up today, as the last four months have been nothing but sideways action. At some point soon, we will see either a coiled spring effect and higher prices, or impatient investors heading for the exits. Elsewhere in the markets, shares of McDonald’s ( MCD ) got a nice boost from solid January sales. Colgate-Palmolive ( CL ) was also rallying on some takeover rumblings. Aetna ( AET ) and Clorox ( CLX ) had some decent buying following positive analyst comments. Avon Products ( AVP ) went in the opposite direction following lackluster earnings results. I was reading numerous accounts of AOL’s acquisition of the popular news site The Huffington Post yesterday. I tend to pay attention to what is happening in the web media space closely, as our firm is often grouped into that space, since “.com” is part of our brand. You have to question the uncanny love that is expressed for the deal, with the word “innovation” being tossed around in seemingly every other compliment. Sorry, but what is innovative about having 6000 contributors writing free content for your website, as Ms. Huffington managed to achieve? The company does only have 200 employees and can be described as lean and mean, but innovative? I’ve also seen a lot of insults leveled toward “old media” (newspapers, magazines) regarding their new goals of putting up so-called “pay walls” (which just means you charge users to access your content). If I were running the New York Times or any other major paper, I would’ve put some sort of pay wall up years ago. Why charge for a print version and give it away online for free! The lack of vision has costs thousands and thousands of jobs in the newspaper and magazine industries. Some people may say “who cares, it’s free now, I can get the same information anywhere on the web.” I don’t know about you, but reading articles created by content farms that pay writers $3 a post (if that) isn’t exactly very appealing. Unfortunately, that’s the direction that many online media plays are heading. I am not going to knock Arianna Huffington and her major payday, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t so much about innovation, as it …

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Market Wrap-Up for Feb.8 (MCD, CL, AET, CLX, AVP, more)

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