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9:00 AM EST, Thursday, July 16, 2009. Suddenly, the world is awash in good news and strong "buy" recommendations. From MarketWatch:

HONG KONG -- China's gross domestic product expanded by 7.9% in the three months ended June 30 from the year-ago period, driven by domestic consumption and a strong increase in industrial activity.

From Mike O’Rourke, CMT's Chief Market Strategist.

Investors finally received a successive series of positives that served as a catalyst to start putting money to work in Equities. It started with the solid start to earnings season, which was followed by a round of better than expected economic data. The Empire Manufacturing report was better than expected, notably New Orders and Shipments crossed above zero. In addition, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization were both better than expectations, however, Capacity Utilization posted its lowest reading on record (dating back 42 years). These numbers are being viewed as backward looking because a second half increase in auto production is expected as GM and Chrysler complete their reorganizations and “cash for clunkers” provides additional stimulus. The other notable positive was the credit card Master Trust data for June. While charge-offs were mixed with some rising and some falling, across-the-board delinquencies (the leading indicator for future charge-offs) dropped. Finally, the FOMC minutes from the June 23rd/24th meeting painted the picture of a Fed looking for recovery but hesitant to withdraw support for the financial markets and the economy.

The FOMC minutes had several interesting takeaways. First are the Committee’s comments regarding Treasury purchases. “Some participants thought that increases in purchases of Treasury securities might have little or no effect on long-term interest rates unless the increases were very sizable, given the large amount of current and projected supply of Treasury securities. Others were concerned that announcements of substantial additional purchases could add to perceptions that the federal debt was being monetized.” When it becomes apparent to the Committee that a policy presents risks with few or no tangible benefits, then it is highly likely that the policy will be abandoned. The Fed’s $300 Billion Treasury Purchase program is a pittance relative to the $7.1 Trillion publicly held Federal Debt, so beyond adding more cash to the system, it is not going to do much. We always viewed the purchase of Mortgage-Backed Securities as being far more impactful. It helps the banks and the consumers. If you are going to spend money, spend it where it counts. We interpret these minutes as a solid indication that the Fed’s Treasury purchase program will not be expanded beyond the initial $300 Billion.

The minutes also disclosed that the FOMC made upward revisions of GDP for both 2009 and 2010, while also increasing 2009 unemployment projections. The Committee is forecasting 2010 GDP to be to 2.1% to 3.3%, which is up from 2% to 3%. The FOMC now sees 2009 unemployment reaching 9.8% to 10.1%, which is up from 9.2% to 9.6%. ...

Shooting yourself in the leg -- Part 2. BusinessWeek was once the crown jewel of the McGawHill empire. It will lose $10 million to $20 million this year. McGraw-Hill is selling it to "remove a major distraction." Industry scuttlebut is that it may sell for as little as one dollar.

The fortunes of businesses go up and down -- faster than a whore's drawers (Australian expression).

My father always said, "Take a little home." Good advice, though he never said what to do with the money.

Yesterday's funeral buried a 91-year old great grandmother. The printed service had these beautiful words:

Those we hold most dear never truly leave us; they live on in the kindnesses they showed and the love they brought into our lives. -- Isabel Norton.

Life's latest lessons:

+ You will get less spam email if you "Unsubscribe." You'll find that option at the bottom in the tiniest of type.

+ You will lose weight if you eat only half what you're offered. It's called portion control.

+ Check. Check. Check. Check three times that you didn't leave your cousin's purse in your car. Check your doctor. He'll prescribe painkillers that are addictive. And you or your son will become addicted to OxyContin, which comes from opium. OxyContin iwas first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and introduced to the U.S. in 1996. By 2001, OxyContin was the best-selling non-generic narcotic pain reliever in the U.S. Take it for a couple of weeks and you'll probably be addicted.

+ Microsoft's Outlook is actually a good place to store your friends' phone numbers and email addresses. You can easily transfer the numbers and addresses to your BlackBerry or your iPhone.

+ The biggest price variations are in eyeglasses and hearing aids. You don't get more quality if you pay more. You do get more marketing, however. Hint: Buy your frames online, e.g. ecrater. Get your local store to install your lenses.

+ If you're a high-myop (shortsighted like me), it's a good idea to have at least three sets of prescriptions -- one for reading, one for computers and walking around, and one for long distance.

+ You can find a capable auto mechanic you trust. Finding a real estate broker is harder.

+ Don't expect. Be surprised. People will do to you what they will. Expecting them to do otherwise is an exercise in frustration.

+ Ask and you shall receive -- sometimes. I mumbled to one bank that the 0.5% they were paying me was "low." They said it was. They raised my rate to 1.5%, which is better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish (Australian expression).

How to change the world. In 1978 Deng Xiaoping gave speeches in which he allegedly said "To get rich is glorious." He is credited with making China one of the fastest growing economies in the world, vastly raising the standard of living and bringing perhaps 500 million people out of poverty.

Deng in 1979.

I raise this because China is once again on a tear -- its economy and its shares. And all my friends are buying shares of Build Your Dreams, a Chinese maker of electric cars which Warren Buffett has also acquired a big stake in. Its symbol is BYDDF. It's on the pink sheets. Don't confuse it with BYD, which is Boyd Gaming Corp, and not what you want.

The solution
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?'

The recruit answered, 'Call for backup'

The question.
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem.

A small child replied, 'They couldn't get a baby-sitter.'

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address is . You can't click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.