This Week on the Street: Steps Toward a Recovery


For those of you who received my Investor Brief e-letteron Tuesday (since Monday was Labor Day), I want to follow up on the key items we were keeping an eye on this week and also mention a couple of other important developments:

- Apple’s 9/9 Mystery Solved: After much speculation, Steve Jobs did in fact appear at Apple’s much-anticipated Wednesday event. His appearance, the first at such a publicized event in about a year, seemed to garner more media coverage than Apple’s actual iPod announcement. In a nutshell, Apple unveiled souped-up models of the iPod Touch and iPod Nano just in time for holiday shopping. I have a great deal of respect for Steve Jobs, so it was nice to see him in his element and as he described “loving every minute of it.”

- Beige Book Is “Cautiously Positive”:Six out of the 12 Fed districts raised their hands to signal a general improvement in the economy. High employment and sluggish consumer spending were highlighted as continued areas of concern. The Fed warned that the short-lived Cash for Clunkers program may be responsible a temporary uptick in consumer spending, but there are no clear signs of a longer-term trend ahead.

- Consumer Sentiment on the Rise: It appears consumer sentiment is approving, at least according to a Survey of Consumers from the University of Michigan. The September numbers were some of the strongest since June. Economists were expecting a reading of 67.3; the September results came in at 70.2.

- Dollar’s Low Leads to Gold’s High: This week the dollar fell to a yearly low while gold hit it highest level since March 2008.While in London, G20 finance officials pledged to maintain stimulus until an economic recovery was “secure.” This news weighed heavily on the dollar and sent many investors craving the “safety” of gold.

- Geithner “Moving From Crisis Response to Recovery”: Appearing before the Congressional Oversight Panel for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the improving economy means the government can begin winding down some of its stimulus programs. He made it clear the road ahead wasn’t going to be an easy one, but when compared to this time last year, the economy is in much better shape. Geithner elaborated on this and more during CNBC’s Town Hallevent last night.

For those of you who have signed up for my e-letter,I’ll send out next week’s issue on Monday. I’ll be in touch with a look at Lehman’s collapse, a discussion on recent commodity prices, and of course, the key items to watch next week on the Street.



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