Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Last Call: In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

NYSE trader
Getty Images

Question: What Boston institution has the phone #617-266-1492 and why?

- The answer below after a review of a quiet day of holiday trading.

Market Musings Via CNBC Earnings Expert Juan Aruego

  • Recap: Dow -26.50 (-0.19%) at 13583.65, S&P -5.05 (-0.35%) at 1455.88, Nasdaq -23.84 (-0.76%) at 3112.35.
  • Traders either took the day off or cooled their heels ahead of earnings season on this slow Columbus Day. U.S. composite volume was the lowest of the year. The Dow also traded in its narrowest range in a month (thanks to Kscholer for the last nugget).
  • While broad market indexes are still near multi-year highs, tech stocks continued to lose ground today. S&P Tech was the weakest sector index. Today’s decline pushes that index to its lowest level in over a month.
  • The dollar hit a 3-week high vs. the euro on Spain concerns.

Bonus Musing:

  • The Dow is within 4% of its October 2007 all-time closing high: As of Monday’s close.
  • The Dow is almost within 4.10% or 580.88 points of its all-time closing high of 14,164.53 hit on October 9, 2007.
  • The S&P is within 7% or about 109.27 points of its all-time closing high of 1565.15 hit on October 9, 2007.
  • The NASDAQ is 11% above its close of 2803.91 on October 9, 2007, but NOTE it is not the all-time closing high for the NASDAQ which was hit during the tech bubble.

*The all-time closing high of 5048.62 and intraday high of 5132.52 for the NASDAQ both happened on March 10, 2000.

The Word on the Street Tonight

Some 13,000 May Have Gotten Meningitis-Linked Drug/WSJ – Timothy Martin, Thomas Burton, Besty McKay: “An estimated 13,000 patients may have been exposed to the tainted spinal steroid injections which have sickened more than 100 people with fungal meningitis and killed eight, federal officials said Monday, as clinics and surgery centers continued to reach out to those who could be affected. It was the first estimate of the potential scope of the meningitis outbreak, which has been traced by federal and state investigators to three lots of methylprednisolone acetate injections produced by New England Compounding Center.”

Huawei Fires Back at the U.S./WSJ – Siobhan Gorman & Juro Osawa: “Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Inc. lashed out Monday at a scathing congressional report, calling allegations that it may be spying on Americans and violating U.S. laws "little more than an exercise in China-bashing."

Athens Prepares for Visit By Merkel/WSJ – Philip Pangalos & James Angelos: “The Greek capital was bracing for a security clampdown as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras prepared to welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday on her first visit to Athens since the debt crisis began. In a sign of the reception Ms. Merkel is likely to receive on her seven-hour stopover in the Greek capital, several thousand demonstrators gathered in the city's main Syntagma Square on Monday evening, blaring revolutionary music from loudspeakers and holding banners decrying planned government austerity measures, which many Greeks blame on Ms. Merkel. One banner, modeled on the German flag and written in German, read: "Angela don't cry. There is nothing left in the larder to take."

IMF Slashes Forecasts for Global Economic Growth/CNBC – Justin Menza: "The global economy continues to weaken but how long the slowdown persists will depend on whether U.S. and European policymakers address underlying economic challenges, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Monday. … Much will depend on whether European and U.S. policymakers deal with their major short-term economic challenges, the IMF noted. With the European crisis deepening, U.S. economic growth sluggish and domestic demand faltering in emerging markets, the IMF has trimmed its 2012 and 2013 global growth forecasts."

Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week/CNBC – John Melloy: “A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear. The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. Friday. “Just goes to show you how just one person can have such an outsized impact on the market,” said Eric Hunsader, head of Nanex and the No. 1 detector of trading anomalies watching Wall Street today. “Exchanges are just not monitoring it.”

FANNY 911/America’s butts are plaguing emergency responders with mistaken calls/The Daily: “In the last 10 years, the near-universal adoption of cellphones and smartphones has caused the number of accidental 911 calls — also known as fat-finger dials or butt dials — to skyrocket. For every 100 calls made to 911 this year in the U.S., roughly 40 of them were accidental, Andrew Reece — president of Winbourne Consulting, which works to improve 911 call centers — told The Daily. This is out of a huge total: in 2010, Americans placed a total of 240 million 911 calls — an increase of 26 percent over 1999. That translates to about 100 million illegitimate 911 calls last year alone — or one for every three Americans.”

Question: What Boston institution has the phone #617-266-1492 and why?

Answer: Boston’s Symphony Hall.

From a BSO press release (via Boston Globe): “In 1900, while the building was under construction, the Boston Pops took up residence at Mechanics Hall on Huntington Avenue (this building was leveled in the early 60s to build the Prudential Center). The orchestra set up a box office phone line, and according to the April 29 Globe: ‘reserved seats, either at tables or in the balcony, can be secured by telephoning to the special telephone, 1492 Back Bay.’ The reason, of course, was old-school marketing. Everyone remembers the year of Columbus’ transatlantic trek, so now Bostonians would know the direct line to the Boston Pops by default.”

Economic Data

7:30     Sep      NFIB                              

1300                3-Yr Note Auction


After the Bell:

Alcoa, Chevron INTERIM, Yum! Brands

Key Guests

Kenneth Langone, Invemed Associates Chairman (700a)

Donald Trump, Trump Organization Chairman (730a)

Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party Leader (810a)

Randy Smallwood, Silver Wheaton CEO (100p)

Aaron Levie, Founder (130p)

Alice Rivlin, Brookings Sr Fellow (200p)

Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller (330p)

Bill Nichols, Cantor Fitzgerald Co-Head of US Equities Trading (340p)

Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa CEO (400p)

Glenn Hutchins, Silver Lake Co-CEO (410p)

Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter: @tomrotunno

Questions? Comments? Email us

Follow NetNet on Twitter @

Facebook us @