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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton

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9:00 AM EST, Friday, March 13, 2009. Nice bounce in the last few days:

To me, it's a bounce in a bear market -- an expected bounce, given the relentless pounding of January and February. The bounce caused the Wall Street Journal to pontificate this morning. Before you read it, please remember that no one has ever had a clue on why the market moves up, down or sideways. Whatever reporters write is whatever pops into their brain. This reporter is no different. From the Journal:

Investors See a Glimmer and Shares Soar Worldwide
A few clues that the economy’s downward spiral might be slowing galvanized Wall Street on Thursday and sent world stock markets soaring for the second time this week.

Investors searching for relief from a relentless march of bad economic news found wisps of hope in developments that, not many months ago, would have been regarded as alarming. The news, by and large, was bad — just not quite as bad as feared.

General Electric, the blue-chip corporation, was stripped of its triple-A credit rating, an emblem of business prowess it proudly held since 1956. But its rating fell just one notch, less than some analysts predicted. Shares of G.E. soared 13 percent.

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales fell slightly in February — again, less than forecast. And the head of the beleaguered Bank of America said the lender probably would not need more government money, but other banks might.

Less bad was good enough. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 239.66 points, or 3.46 percent, to 7,170.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index leaped 29.38 points, or 4.07 percent, to 750.74. The gains rippled over to Asian markets, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rising more than 5 percent Friday, two days after that market posted a 4.6 gain for its biggest jump in six weeks. Hong Kong’s benchmark gained more than 3.5 percent. Those gains were replicated later by European markets, with most major European exchanges up more than 2.1 percent in afternoon trading.

Since Monday, when the Dow fell to its lowest point in 12 years, indexes have soared roughly 10 percent, their best run since November. But few experts were willing to call an end to the bear market, which has cut the Dow in half since its October 2007 peak. Indeed, many analysts predicted that this rally, like others before it, will fizzle before the market stages a lasting recovery. Economists cautioned that the economy was not about to turn a corner anytime soon, even though the numbers suggested that consumers were not entirely in a bunker mentality.

But some saw signs of a subtle shift in investor psychology, a willingness to believe, even for a few days, that Wall Street’s worst fears might be overblown.

"When the markets have been battered as much as they have, any little shred of positive news is greeted with great cheer," said Marc D. Stern, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust.

The stock market, Mr. Stern said, seems to be entering a new phase, in which investors reconsider their despairing views about the economy and corporate profits. He said the market could fall again, though he did not expect as many “sharp free falls.” Usually the stock market starts trending higher before the economy recovers. ...

Financials were bolstered after Kenneth D. Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, said the bank had made a profit in the first two months of the year and predicted that it would be profitable for all of 2009. His remarks came after similarly optimistic statements this week by Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.

“Some of the government’s rescue programs are starting to work — that’s what we’re seeing,” said Edward Yardeni, an independent investment strategist. “There are some substantial developments behind this rally that are encouraging.” ...

Still, some specialists said the incipient rally is reminiscent of the aborted upturn that began in mid-November after stocks had tumbled to their lowest level in 11 years. The S.& P. 500 climbed 24 percent from Nov. 20 to Jan. 6 before it fell in the last two months.

Market analysts say history shows that the strongest stockmarket rallies take place amid bear markets as investors search for any sign of good news. But those rallies generally fade, as it becomes clear that economic difficulties will persist for longer than many had hoped for.

New industries in the roaring twenties: What causes booms? New industries. What will our new industries be going forward? Alternative energy? Biotech? I don't think so. From Wikipedia:

Mass production made technology affordable to the middle class. Many of the devices that became commonplace had been developed before the war but had been unaffordable to most people. The automobile, movie, radio, and chemical industries skyrocketed during the 1920s. Of chief importance was the automobile industry. Before the war, cars were a luxury. In the 1920s, mass-produced vehicles became common throughout the U.S. and Canada. By 1927, Henry Ford had sold 15 million Model Ts. Only about 300,000 vehicles were registered in 1918 in all of Canada, but by 1929, there were 1.9 million. The automobile industry's effects were widespread, contributing to such disparate economic pursuits as gas stations, motels, and the oil industry.

Radio became the first mass broadcasting medium. Radios were affordable, and their mode of entertainment proved revolutionary. Radio became the grandstand for mass marketing. Its economic importance led to the mass culture that has dominated society since. During the "golden age of radio", radio programming was as varied as TV programming today. The 1927 establishment of the Federal Radio Commission introduced a new era of regulation.

It was such a delicious business. Being a spec developer. While it lasted. From this week's La Quinta Sun:

I wonder if this will succeed? From reader, Dick Hudgens writes:

I saw a news story about lawyers that are going to sue the SEC on behalf of their clients who lost money in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. They will allege that the failure of the SEC to properly regulate Madoff caused them to lose their money. If they win you and I will be repaying the Madoff investors. In other words the government would have to pay off people for being dumb enough to get caught up in this scheme. If we start paying people for being dumb investors the government is destined to go broke.

Entrepreneurship at its best.

The UroClub™ is the discrete, sanitary way for your urgent relief.

Created by a Board Certified Urologist, it looks like an ordinary golf club, but contains a reservoir built into the grip to relieve yourself.

The UroClub™ is leak proof, easy to clean and no more embarrassing moments. Only $24.95.

I can't imagine this thing selling. But all my golfing friends -- all one of them -- want one.

The thing holds over half a liter, twice the volume commonly urinated.

Paradise visited. Last night we picked two gorgeous ripe grapefruit off a tree in Dan Good's front yard.

The fruit were huge .... the size of grapefruit.

Another reason to be in the Coachella Valley:

Indian Wells Tennis TV Schedule -- EST times
Saturday, March 14
2 PM - 2 AM
Tennis Channel
Sunday, March 15
2 PM - 12 AM
Tennis Channel
Monday, March 16

4 PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 2:30 AM

Tuesday, March 17
4 PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 2:30 AM
Wednesday, March 18
4 PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 2:30 AM
Thursday, March 19
4 PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM -12:30 AM
Friday, March 20
4 PM - 7 PM
10:30 PM - 12:30 AM
Saturday, March 21
4 PM - 8 PM
Sunday, March 22
1 PM -5 PM

This weekend we're going to my partner's 60th birthday party. He's depressed about getting "old." He shouldn't be. He has a wonderful family. He's healthy. He still skis. And skis very well. Every day he has fun.

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.