We’re Baaack: Greetings from the Breaking News Desk - I’m back and blogging after a few days of vacation in Las Vegas. Every East Coast-based reporter should be made to spend a few days on Pacific Time, where the New York Stock Exchange opens at 6:30 a.m. local time and you get an idea of just how much of an East Coast bias the financial world really has. Imagine waking up at 7 a.m. ET and realizing you missed all of "Squawk Box"!
Market Dominos: One of the most interesting aspects of following the market is to watch a piece of news break on one computer screen, and see the various market numbers suddenly move on the other. Two cases of that this morning: a stronger than expected retail sales report sent futures higher when it was issued at 8:30 a.m. ET - as reported by the "Squawk Box" anchor team and Senior Economics Correspondent Steve Liesman.
And - just when we thought it was safe to count on a higher market today - CNBC’s Sharon Epperson ruined the party. Sharon was live on the floor of the NYMEX at 10:30 a.m. ET when the weekly oil inventory report came out, showing a larger than expected drawdown in oil inventories, sending crude prices higher, and stock prices lower.
It’s All My Default: The number of Americans applying for mortgages is at its highest in 14 months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But of course, a loan has that pesky “you gotta pay it back” provision. CNBC’s Diana Olick broke the story at 1. p.m. ET that mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are on the rise.
Enron Incarceration: Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling arrives in Minnesota to serve his prison sentence for his role in the largest corporate collapse in U.S. history. CNBC viewers saw Skilling's arrival, taped just minutes earlier, at 1:30 p.m. ET. What they didn't see was some first class work by the CNBC Newsdesk in figuring out which tape was, in fact, that of Skilling's arrival.
The problem: the arrival was shot from a distance - essentially long distance shots of cars arriving at the Minnesota prison, and people getting out. From that distance, it was difficult to identify Skilling without some further clues. Luckily, CNBC senior assignment editor Jim Forkin took note of the time prison officials said Skilling had arrived - and asked our cameraman at the site to look at his camera's time code and match it up with the tape that was shot. With those clues, it became possible to pick Skilling's arrival out of a crowd and have it on the air moments later.
And you thought TV was easy!