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

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8:30 AM EST Wednesday, November 15, 2006: Deutsche Börse is withdrawing its offer for Euronext, a step that removes the main obstacle to the parent of the New York Stock Exchange buying Euronext and creating the first major trans-Atlantic stock-exchange operator. This is a victory for NYSE (NYX).

According to today's Wall Street Journal, Euronext, which operates stock exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon, has a market value of about €10.1 billion, or about $12.9 billion. A combined NYSE-Euronext would have a value of about $28 billion. In comparison, the two commodities-exchange operators in Chicago (the Board of Trade and the Mercantile) that recently agreed to combine would be valued at $26 billion.

The recent rise in NYSE's share price has given Mr. Thain's offer a lead over Deutsche Börse of about €9.80 ($12.55) a share, according to people close to NYSE. The NYSE deal is valued based on a formula using the New York company's stock price and will include a cash payment of about $3 billion.

Companies have grown less eager to list their shares in the U.S. because of its tougher regulatory climate and the ease of raising capital elsewhere. NYSE desires Euronext in part because of its presence in the fast-growing market for complicated financial products. Globally, exchanges have been trying to offer more scale and more services. Combining the two Chicago commodities-exchange operators will create a derivatives powerhouse. Nasdaq Stock Market has purchased a 25.3% stake in London Stock Exchange PLC.

In short, good things are happening to the nation's trading exchanges. I wrote about this first on Monday's column. (Click here.) Here's an update on trading since. It's been good.

The Exchanges Blast Off A Little More.
Friday's close Nov 10
Last night's close
Price/Earnings Ratio
Chicago Board of Trade (merged with CME)          
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange
International Securities Exchange
Nasdaq Stock Market
NYSE Group

A financial planner (who's also a reader) writes:

You are a financial planner's dream talking about asset classes and so forth. Financial planners love this stuff because it allows them to make a nice living off of the assets of their clients while having little or no knowledge of financial analysis or how to buy good assets at good prices. Please continue to make the case for asset allocation as it helps create opportunities for people to buy great assets cheaply as the asset allocators leave one class for another.

Sorry if I gave the impression yesterday that simply buying assets -- any assets -- in different categories was the key. Clearly, each asset you buy needs to be ulra-carefully chosen.

InSite Vision's conference call said they're on track.
They're tracking with FDA approval and finding a big pharma marketing partner. The timeframe is within the next six to nine months. Meantime, the stock will undoubtedly flag. For a replay of InSite's conference call
(877) 660-6853 or (201) 612-7415, account number 286 and conference ID 219889. If it doesn't work when you call, call back. The conference company was having "maintenance issues" when I checked this morning.

How to communicate effectively
A woman went up to the bar in a quiet rural pub... She gestured alluringly to the bartender who approached her immediately. She seductively signaled that he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, she gently caressed his full beard.

"Are you the manager?" she asked, softly stroking his face with both hands.

"Actually, no," he replied.

"Can you get him for me? I need to speak to him," she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.

"I'm afraid I can't," breathed the bartender.. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes. I need for you to give him a message," she continued, running her forefinger across the bartender's lip and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth and allowing him to suck them gently.

"What should I tell him?" the bartender managed to say.

"Tell him,"she whispered,"There's no toilet paper, hand soap, or paper towels in the ladies room."

Bubba and Ray were engineers
Bubba and Ray (Tennessee mechanical engineers) were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.

A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.

We're supposed to find the height of the flagpole," said Bubba, "but we don't have a ladder."

The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down. Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, took a measurement, announced, "Eighteen feet, six inches," and walked away.

Ray shook his head and laughed. "Ain't that just like a woman! We ask for the height and she gives us the length!"

Bubba and Ray are currently doing government work supervising the reconstruction of Iraq.

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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty 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 Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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