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The U.S. stock market is giving traders a lot of feints. Overall, it has failed to break out of the trading range that it's been in for quite some time. This range, as defined by the 1200-1245 area on $SPX, has contained both rallies and declines for several weeks. Thursday's rally was a strong one, and one wonders whether it was mainly due to quarter- end window dressing (which often reaches its zenith of activity on the day before the quarter ends) or due to a new-found strength in the underlying tone of the market itself. Unfortunately for the bulls, we're taking a 'show me' attitude here -- not being convinced of the impending upside potential unless the market can actually break out above the 1245 area (and clear the double tops there and also clear them in the other major indices as well; in fact, it's amazing how much the recent charts of $OEX, $DJX, and QQQQ resemble that of $SPX).
This current rally is the second one off of the 1200-1205 bottom (basis $SPX). Both times, the market rallied without actually getting very oversold, although this time there was an oversold condition in the breadth indicators. Currently, both breadth indicators have finally moved to buy signals -- but the NYSE breadth didn't confirm until Thursday (rather late). Hence, breadth got oversold at the bottom which is bullish -- but didn't improve much on the rally until now.
Equity-only put-call ratios have remained bullish for the entirety of this move. They turned to buy signals in early September and have remained there with little difficulty. What this is actually saying is that traders have been buying calls (forcing the ratio lower) all during this time. As long as the ratio moves lower, that's bullish. Only when 'too many' calls are being bought and the ratios begin to turn upward, would this be negative -- and that hasn't occurred yet. Volatility ($VIX) hasn't been very predictive. It has more or less followed the market, not led it, over the last few weeks. Therefore, it is also in a trading range -- as $SPX is. That range is bounded by 14 on the upside (which $VIX reached each time that $SPX was down near 1200) and has a vague lower bound in the 11.00 - 11.50 area. $VIX is sort of in the middle of that range now, so we'd just rate it as 'neutral.'
So where does all of this leave us? We have two bullish indicators breadth and put-call ratios. We have two indicators in a relatively neutral status (within trading ranges): $VIX and the charts of the major indices. To us, it adds up to further trading range activity in the US markets -- especially considering that this most recent, strong rally day was likely the result of the calendar (quarter end) rather than a true shift in investor bullishness. I expect to see sellers emerge at the 1240-1245 area on $SPX because sales there were profitable the last two times that the average got that high. Eventually, if $SPX can break on through 1245, that would change things because those sellers would turn to buyers and other investors would be drawn in on the buy side as well. Unless that happens, we remain skeptical of the rally.
Government Reorganization and Program Performance Improvement Act of 2005
You might want to pay some attention to this. The goal is to give every government agency a ten-year life span. If Congress does not specifically reauthorize each agency, it dies.
Loomia Podcast and Videocast Search Engine
Not only a search engine but one intended "to help you discover, share, and manage things of interest to you. We make use of the likes and dislikes of an ever-increasing community to filter through thousands of channels to help you find good stuff." There's a surprising amount of library-sponsored or library-related content available already.
Replacing Your Vital Documents
While this is designed particularly for the benefit of victims of Katrina, we all could find it useful if we one day find ourselves in need of missing documents to prove we are ourselves.
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
A ban in England and Wales on marriages between parents-in-law and their children-in-law is in breach of human rights, the European Court said yesterday.
The judgment will force an overhaul of legislation governing family law which will see men being able to marry their mothers-in-law for the first time - as long as they do not have a blood link.
The decision by the court in Strasbourg related to a case brought by a couple from Warrington who were refused the right to marry because the man, aged nearly 60, is the father-in-law of the woman, more than 20 years his junior.
Identified in court as B and L, the woman and man had claimed that the marriage ban breached the Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to marry and have a family, and outlaws discrimination.
The judges were told that B's original marriage to C ended in divorce, after a son, W, was born.
A relationship between the man and his daughter-in-law developed after the man's son, left the marital home.
A marriage between B and L, therefore, would mean the husband would be grandfather to his own wife's son.
The boy already calls his grandfather "dad".
The couple went to the Human Rights Court after being refused permission to marry by the Superintendent Registrar at Warrington Register Office.
The Strasbourg judges said that the British bar on in-law marriages, although pursuing a legitimate aim of protecting "the integrity of the family", did not prevent such relationships occurring. They added: "Since no incest or other criminal law provisions prevented extra-marital relationships between parents-in-law and children-in-law, it could not be said that the ban on the marriage (between B and L) prevented W from being exposed to any alleged confusion or emotional security."
The Human Rights Convention states: "Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right." B and L were awarded nearly £12,000 in costs and expenses.
A spokesman for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said: "We are considering the judgment.'' Earlier this year Scotland became the first part of the UK to allow men to marry their mothers-in-law. Any man can marry his mother-in-law or daughter-in-law and women can marry their fathers-in-law or sons-in-law. The only proviso is that they must have been separated first through divorce or death from their original partner. They must not be blood relations. A spokesman for the Catholic Church said it had no ethical objections to the marriage of in-laws who were not blood related.
In England, step-children are allowed to marry their step-parents but only when they are grown up and only if they have never lived together.
Chamber judgement, B & L v United Kingdom [13 Sep '05] - European Court of Human Rights
© Copyright of Telegraph Group
Americans aren't offhand, they just want to get down to business. Try not to get offended, says Widget Finn
Oscar Wilde claimed that "the Americans and the British are identical in all respects except, of course, their language" while around the same time Henry Sweet predicted that within 100 years American and British English would be mutually unintelligible.
A sense of urgency "is deep in the American psyche"
Which is worrying when you consider that currently around 4.5m US business people work in European companies and about the same number of Europeans are employed by American companies. How on earth do they communicate with their colleagues?
Often with great difficulty, claims Allyson Stewart-Allen, an American marketing consultant who was sent over to London by PA Consultancy Group two decades ago, learnt the language and has stayed on ever since. When she arrived she admits she had problems.
"I didn't know whether being pear-shaped was good or bad, what a damp squib was or if being knackered was faintly improper. But being an outsider meant that I could ask questions which nobody else dared raise. In a first meeting over here it's considered totally inappropriate to mention money, but I could act the naïve American and ask about the budget. It was met with nervous laughter but I usually got an answer."
There are numerous pitfalls for the unsuspecting Brit who thinks English is universally understood wherever it is spoken.
In the US you can grow a beard or a tomato but not a company, and slating a meeting means that you schedule, not disparage it. Thus a headline ''Third Harry Potter film slated'' can mean good on one side of the Atlantic and bad on the other.
If you're asked whether you want hot milk in your coffee, "I don't care" in New York is the same as "I don't mind" in London, but reverse the response and you'll get a reputation for surliness or indecision. This chasm of misunderstanding reflects the different cultures and history that affects business between the two countries.
For Americans, time is money and the transaction comes first, while building relationships are a long way behind. Go into a meeting and the British want to spend some time settling in, asking about your journey and offering coffee. Americans ignore the pleasantries and throw themselves into the business.
Allyson Stewart-Allen claims this sense of urgency is deep in the American psyche, going back to the early settlers.
In the 1800s publicity for the Manifest Destiny trains urged ordinary Americans to "Claim as much land as you can, as fast as you can".
She explains: "When our ancestors travelled across the country in their covered wagons they knew that they must stake their claims quickly before the people following behind grabbed the land. This means even now there's an antipathy to wasting time."
So it follows that punctuality is essential. If there's any doubt, arrive five minutes early and wait, in contrast to French custom where it's best to arrive five minutes late. This influences response times. You need it when? Yesterday? OK, no problem.
Americans want everything - information, deliveries - instantly says Ms Stewart-Allen. "The general rule for replying to phone messages and e-mail is no more than 24 hours, possibly 48 if you're travelling.
Waiting any longer than two days for a response implies that the person is not interested, slow, unprofessional.
In Europe a week may be a satisfactory time but not in America.
" This obsession with speed has a strong influence on marketing. "In the States we accept that we can go to market with a product or service which isn't 100 per cent ready. We're happy with 80 per cent so we can get in and get ahead.
''Here, being more risk-averse, you want to be absolutely certain it's right before launching a product but it means that by being second you seem a copycat and have to sell the idea that you're late but better."
It's the subtleties of culture and class that can cause most confusion. Ms Stewart-Allen first encountered it at PA where there was a certain member of her team with an illustrious ancestry.
"My colleagues laughed harder at his jokes, were deferential and, although he was just average, he got better assignments. Americans respect someone for achievements, not their DNA."
Understanding the gamut of linguistic and cultural differences can make the course of business run more smoothly but even if we learn each other's language there is still a natural barrier that keeps our two nations apart. As Eddie Izzard wisely observed: "America and Britain are divided by the Atlantic Ocean."
Top tips for working with Americans
The clock is king
Be on time for meetings. Deadlines are serious. Meet completion times or risk losing business.
Business before pleasure
Be willing to do business ?rst, build the relationship second. If Americans don't take time to get to know you no insult is intended, they're just keeping to a schedule.
Family, equal and ethical
Everyone, regardless of rank or age, should be treated as equals. Don't be insulted if addressed by your ?rst name - it's the American way.
Let's do lunch
Don't take offence when your American colleague suggests getting together but doesn't get it together. He's sincere, but too rushed to follow up so simply appreciate the interest.
Do it now!
Americans still make decisions on impulse. In their rush to 'get things done' they decide quickly and worry about the consequences later.
Source: Working with Americans
13 July 2005[News]: Strewth! Americanisms flush Aussie lingo down the dunny
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.
September 9, 2005
By ALEX BERENSON and JOHN M. BRODER
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 - Local police officers began confiscating weapons from civilians in preparation for a forced evacuation of the last holdouts still living here, as President Bush steeled the nation for the grisly scenes of recovering the dead that will unfold in coming days.
Police officers and federal law enforcement agents scoured the city carrying assault rifles seeking residents who have holed up to avoid forcible eviction, as well as those who are still considering evacuating voluntarily to escape the city's putrid waters.
"Individuals are at risk of dying," said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of the New Orleans police. "There's nothing more important than the preservation of human . . .
Mr. Compass, the police superintendent, said that after a week of near anarchy in the city, no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns, or other firearms of any kind. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.
That order apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property. The guards, who are civilians working for private security firms like Blackwater, are openly carrying M-16s and other assault rifles.
Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.
New Orleans has turned into an armed camp, patrolled by thousands of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, as well as National Guard troops and active-duty soldiers. While armed looters roamed unchecked last week, the city is now calm. . . .
LexisNexis has teamed-up with iParadigms to offer "LexisNexis CopyGuard" pattern-matching technology for identifying suspected plagiarism. The service assigns each document a "similarity index" indicating the total percentage of the document containing text originating elsewhere in the Lexis database. It also provides and "Originality Report" that underlines and color codes questionable sentences, with links to the original sources.
But should we be looking for plagiarism sentence by sentence simply because we can?
Musicians know that all great composers steal; documentarian's lament over dissappearing history; and artists are plagued by intellectual property issues. Even technological breakthroughs can be viewed as more of a societal building process than the singular obsessions of lonely geniuses.
According to Stuart P. Green, a professor of law at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, copyright law "protects a primarily economic interest . . .
By Lucy Lazarony
The news on college costs is mighty grim, but there are plenty of creative ways to keep your college dream on track.
Dwindling state and federal aid, lower endowments and drops in fund raising have forced many colleges and universities to raise tuition prices and cut back on financial aid programs.
What's a cash-strapped student to do?
Get real and then get creative.
First off, face facts -- These are trying times for anyone pursuing higher education.
It's time to pull out all the stops. Be flexible. Be determined. Be willing to give the unusual a try.
Here's a roundup of some offbeat and overlooked strategies for pursuing and paying for a college degree.
1. Accelerate your degree
Accelerated classes cram a semester's worth of material into six- or eight-week sessions . . .
September 5, 2005 FORUM0905
One of your employees just read an article he likes, so he e-mails a copy to 10 colleagues. No problem, right?
Think again. If the company does not have permission to forward electronic copies of the article, its employees might have just committed copyright infringement. And don't assume it's not a "real" problem just because you haven't heard much about it.
Ask Legg Mason, the investment management firm, which was hit with a nearly $20 million judgment for repeatedly violating the copyright of a newsletter publisher. The company systematically forwarded electronic copies of the newsletter, without permission, to employees. While the fact that it went to trial and the size of the award make the . . .
Tuesday September 6, 8:37 am ET
Company's Innovative Interface Offers Internet Users and Advertisers the Chance to See and Be Seen Like Never Before
CINCINNATI, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- ZIPmouse LLC, a leading interface design company, today announced the launch of its new website, http://www.zipmouse.com . The website, four years in the making, is designed to bring users, advertisers and information together in a seamless framework. That seamless framework is created by the unique ZIPmouse interface design.
"Any user at any level can effectively use ZIPmouse," said Keith Lawrence, President of ZIPmouse. "The experience we've created is so incredibly simple and efficient, users quickly feel empowered when using ZIPmouse."
The company stresses that ZIPmouse is not a search engine. The ZIPmouse taxonomy (orderly classification system) is organized into layers of logical categories that users can quickly navigate with just a few clicks of their mouse. The uncluttered and intuitive interface is maintained through every level of the ZIPmouse taxonomy structure - providing consistency and familiarity to users.
"That's the beauty of ZIPmouse; it utilizes one consistent interface and one consistent function," said Ed Estes, CTO of ZIPmouse. "Users master our system in a matter of seconds because the experience is the same no matter what you're looking for."
ZIPmouse is fundamentally different from existing online directories. Most directories have a flexible category system that adapts to the information indexed. Ultimately, this method of organization becomes disorganized as it succumbs to the individual demands of an enormous number of websites. The ZIPmouse taxonomy follows a rigid set of rules and organization methods that stay fixed, regardless of the amount of information it indexes. . . .
Britons return to tell of anarchy in Superdome
By Marco Giannangeli
Britons finally returning to safety from New Orleans yesterday told of the anarchy that developed in the city's Superdome, where thousands had been sent after Hurricane Katrina.
As they landed at Gatwick airport, bedraggled holidaymakers described the terror that followed attempted rapes, violence and squalor in the sports arena.
Jane Wheeldon is greeted by her mother at Gatwick Airport
Will Nelson had been touring the United States after summer work for Camp America.
"I'm just relieved it is all over and glad to be back and away from there," he said. "There were mothers with their children lying in corridors in filth and the toilets and water stopped working.
"The smell was disgusting and there were old people just sitting down in the road as well as the sick."
The 21-year-old had been staying in a hostel in the city just before the hurricane struck and was told that he and fellow travellers had to evacuate to the dome.
"The first few days there was a group of eight of us together but by Thursday night all the travellers were together - there were 40 or 50 of us," he said. "The lads were on the outside and the girls were on the inside and we just made sure that we didn't leave any of our bags."
He described how backpackers had been surprised by the intensity of the hurricane. "We were all cramped into sections and could hear lots of crashing but we didn't have an idea just how massive it was," he added. "The army gave out food and water at first to people, but then the situation got worse."
Charlotte Scott, 19, described how she and her sister Rebecca, 20, huddled together with other travellers in the dome. "Throughout the three days we just grouped together because none of us knew what we were in for. I saw a couple of people getting taken away by the army and others were getting angry . . .
Lance Armstrong scandal
The Associated Press Friday, August 5, 2005; 11:00 PM PARIS, France --
Lance Armstrong's record setting seventh Tour de France victory, along with
his entire Tour de France legacy, may be tarnished by what could turn out to
be one of the greatest sports scandals of all time.
Armstrong is being quizzed by French police after three banned substances
were found in his South France hotel room while on vacation after winning
the 2005 Tour de France.
The three substances found were toothpaste, deodorant and soap, which have
been banned by French authorities for over 75 years.
Armstrong's girlfriend, American rocker Sheryl Crowe, is quoted as saying
"We use them every day in America, so we naturally thought they'd be ok
Along with these three banned substances, French authorities also physically
searched Armstrong and found several other interesting items that they had
never seen before, including a backbone and testicle.
Internship Opportunity - People For the American Way Foundation
People For the American Way Foundation
2000 M Street, NW Ste 400
Washington, DC 20036
People For the American Way Foundation is a national organization with 700,000 members and supporters dedicated to defending constitutional and civil rights and promoting the democratic values of citizen participation, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and respect for diversity. It is home to the Andrew Heiskell Library, a collection of primary and secondary source materials on First Amendment issues, the right-wing movement, and other issues of concern to the organization.
• Help maintain book and serials collections of the Resource Center. This includes filing, making new files and creating reference tools to make the library easier for staff and visitors to use.
• Assist with maintaining online resources, such as book database, library web site, and intranet search (EDIT) tool.
• Help fact-check PFAWF and PFAW materials for accuracy.
• Assist staff members and visitors with reference requests.
• Ability to think and write clearly.
• Concern for detail, organization, and accuracy.
• Knowledge of library services and functions.
• Ability to work both independently and with supervision.
• Familiarity with Internet-based research tools, databases, and other computer applications.
• Interest in and knowledge of current political issues and library sciences.