Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday: Back in the saddle

It's back to business here in the US, as we finish this first stock trading session of the week following our Labor Day holiday.

Let's survey the financial scene and see what's shaking as we head into a new trading week and the start of the fall season. Here are a few recent stories and market updates I've been keeping up with:

1. Investment Postcards offers up their latest global stock market performance round-up.

2. Bear Mountain Bull provides us with a Tuesday market wrap-up, and some thoughts on energy prices and the direction of some major market indices.

3. BusinessWeek anticipates the post-Labor Day market activity and highlights some important trends that are currently foremost in market participants' minds.

4. John Mauldin shared some thoughts on the credit markets and widening credit spreads this past weekend in a piece entitled, "Who Holds the Old Maid?".

5. Red-Hot Resources offered up some charts of oil, gold, and the US dollar, along with some commentary on the impacts of Hurricane Gustav (less than feared) and the effects of the recently strong dollar on commodity prices.

6. FT: Asian issuers show preference for renminbi.

"The renminbi has for the first time supplanted the dollar as emerging Asia’s most popular currency for fixed income corporate funding, reflecting a surge in local currency issues by Chinese companies."

Will the recent strength in the dollar undermine this trend, or is this a sign of things to come in Asia's fixed-income markets?

7. Hedge funds are caught in a tight spot. Wall Street Journal reports that investor money flows into hedge funds have slowed as the industry has its worst performance year since 1990.

As the WSJ graphic shows, a few of the firms' largest funds are doing well, and some firms who run multiple funds are seeing positive performance YTD in individual funds. Still, overcoming past losses and "high-water mark" levels for performance-based profits are now a problem for many hedgies.

8. Bloomberg: Citadel, SAC Capital get pick of casualties as carnage worsens. The larger hedge funds that are well capitalized and doing okay have their pick of employees defecting from other firms.

See anything important that we might have missed? Feel free to add it to our comments section, along with your thoughts. Thanks!