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CNBC's Schacknow: Cruise/News Expertise; Nasdaq 2000

The Happiest Ship On Earth
Like many people who have chosen news as a profession, I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things. (Some have suggested to me that I know very little about everything, which is also possible.)

One area I can safely say I know a great deal about is the cruise industry, because of extensive field research. What that actually means is that my wife and I love cruising, and at last count, had taken 15 cruises together in the past seven years.

So you can imagine how happy I was to be involved in today’s breaking story that The Walt Disney Co. would be building two new cruise ships. While this is only a small drop in the bucket for the cruise industry as a whole, it’s a big deal for Disney, which broke into the cruise business in 1998 with two ships, but hasn’t expanded the fleet since then.

It’s an interesting move for Disney, which has been able to charge higher than average prices for its ships, because of the limited capacity and the "Disney" experience.

CNBC’s Julia Boorstin alerted us to the story and was on the air within moments, at just after 1 p.m. Later in the same hour, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger was on "Power Lunch" to talk about the strategic move.

And I’m ready to volunteer for field work once these ships are built.

Trivial But Fun Market Facts
In the Wall Street euphoria over the recent spate of records, the market passed a milestone today that served as a reminder of how bad it can get when irrational exuberance takes over (thank you, Alan Greenspan).

The Nasdaq Composite, following last year’s nearly 10% gain and 2007’s year-to-date gain of more than 4%, reached the 2524 mark. Why is that significant? Because it’s exactly 50% -- half -- the Nasdaq’s record close on March 24, 2000.

I noticed this while examining our market spreadsheet, which tells us how far various milestones are from their record closes. Think about that. The Nasdaq was twice as high as it is now. Remember Amazon.com at $400 a share?

In any event, I mentioned it to our anchors and reporters, who jumped all over it. It’s a nice feeling to come up with something relevant and have it wind up on TV.

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