Trading in a narrow range, the major indexes rallied in the morning, retreated at midday, and then fought their way back to near breakeven at the bell. The Dow lost 11 points, and the Nasdaq fell by 2 points. The S&P 500, however, finished higher by a fraction of a point. Eighteen of the Dow’s 30 components lost ground, led by The Travelers Companies (TRV), which fell 2%. Volume was light. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by four to three on the NYSE, while decliners edged out advancers by five to four on the Nasdaq. The prices of Treasuries weakened, while the price of gold futures gained 0.8% to $1,678.30 an ounce. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 1.2% to $99.58 a barrel.
In Earnings News:
- Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield-services company, announced earnings jumped from 66 cents a share a year ago to 98 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue increased by 37%, thanks in part to the company’s products for the “hydraulic fracturing” process, which is enjoying a boom in North America. The price of Halliburton’s shares (HAL) lost 2% in today’s session.
In Other Business News:
- The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, urged the European powers to bolster their financial safeguards against the debt crisis and to consider adopting risk-sharing strategies such as issuing common euro bonds. She said: "The longer we wait, the worse it will get. The only solution is to move forward together ... we must all understand that this is a defining moment. It is not about saving any one country or region. It is about saving the world from a downward economic spiral."
- The new chief executive officer of Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry mobile phone, said he would not propose any “seismic” shifts at the troubled company. "I will not in any way split this up or separate this into different businesses," he said. "If there [are] requests coming towards Research In Motion to talk about licensing that platform to other companies, I will entertain those discussions. I will listen." The company’s shares (RIMM) fell 8% in today’s session.
- Apache, the big independent oil-and-gas producer, announced it would pay $2.85 billion in cash and stock for privately held Cordillera Energy Partners. The acquisition will double Apache’s acreage in the Anadarko basin and provide the company with a boost in liquid hydrocarbons. Apache’s shares (APA) gained 1%.
I understand that the globe is warming, although there appears to be some disagreement as to the exact causes and a whole lot of disagreement over what to do about it. However, all of that is way out of my field of expertise. What I do know something about is writing headlines, and it has occurred to me that if I were a cub reporter in these times trying to get my articles onto the front page and make a name for myself, I would try to find a global warming angle in every story I’m working on and get that angle into my headline somehow.
Here are some true-life examples I’ve culled from recent news reports:
- “A graying population reduces global warming” (LiveScience)
- “Would a 21-hour workweek slow global warming?” (Yahoo)
- “U.S. wants to paint the world white to save energy” (Agence France-Presse)
- “Climate change depresses beer drinkers” (NewScientist)
- “Cat invasion due to global warming” (The Baltimore Sun)
- “Whale poop fights climate change” (Agence France-Presse)
- “Eat bugs, save the planet” (Yahoo)