July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008
It's great to have you join me again. How's your week going so far? Hope you're having a great one.

Well I am still ordered on house rest by my doctor so I have been following directions and only going to doctor visits and for medical tests. I realized I must be having some problems when being stuck in the house for over a month hasn't driven me crazy like it normally would. I am a people person so to not see people on a daily basis can seem very lonely but for me it has been a relief from the constant stress of helping other people. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoy what I do to help people with HIV and AIDS. It's just I have a bad habit of going full steam ahead until something stops me dead in my tracks like this time.

I watched CNBC and the New York Stock Exchange again today. It amazes me how the anchors are still trying to persuade the average investor that our stock market and economy are not in trouble. Now I understand why because any investor is hoping not to lose more money and have the market further depreciate. I also realize trying to get the real truth from our news or special interest is not going to happen as they are going to try and paint the best picture possible for further capital gains.

Wall Street traded mostly higher as investors were encouraged by another sharp drop in oil prices and snapped up shares of undervalued financial companies. The market initially fell on heightened concerns about the continuing impact of the housing market's downturn that led to the credit crisis. However, a $4 drop in oil persuaded investors to wade back into equities including downtrodden banks and brokerage. Even Wachovia Corp., the nation's fourth-largest bank, shot higher after its stock tumbled to levels not seen since the early-1990s. The stock was pummeled after the retail bank posted an $8.9 billion loss because of charges and reserves for bad mortgage loans. There's been so much focus on higher oil's impact on the economy that any notch lower breeds optimism that the commodities bubble might perhaps be nearing an end. That means, for the moment, corporate earnings reports have lost some of their dominance of the market. there was no shortage of disappointing results at America's biggest companies American Express Co., Apple Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc. all fell short of expectations. And Wachovia's miss was especially sobering for investors who last week sent stocks soaring after better-than-estimated reports from Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Global banks and brokerages have written down some $300 billion of mortgage-backed securities and other risky investments since the crisis began last year. And Wall Street will get even more data on how badly the turmoil has hurt financial companies when Washington Mutual Inc. and E-Trade Financial Corp. post results after the closing bell in New York.

The price of oil began the session mildly lower on expectations that Tropical Storm Dolly won't disrupt oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The advance increased after comments from a Federal Reserve official sent the dollar higher against major currencies, a trend that in turn sends commodities lower. A barrel of light sweet crude tumbled $4.76 to $126.28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gary returned home from work around 6pm. I heard the front door open and the dogs started to bark as I was napping in bed. Neither of us felt like cooking so we had leftovers for dinner. I enjoyed the leftover spaghetti from a couple nights ago and Gary had the leftover pepperoni pizza from Papa Johns. Gary received a call from his aunt to let him know his mother had been discharged from the hospital after her stroke. Gary and I had to talk about the difference in health care people receive when they only have Medicare as compared to those having private insurance. I personally have seen where people with only Medicare do not receive the quality of care that patients with private insurance receive. In this case, his mother did not receive a MRI after her stroke. Now when I had my stroke the first thing they did was an EKG and a MRI but then I also have private insurance in addition to Medicare. Just goes to show you the problems with American health care. It is all for profit and if you can not afford to pay you will not receive the same quality of care.

Tonight I clicked over to the Weather Channel to see what the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico had been updated. Texas mobilized National Guard troops and residents along the Gulf Coast near the Mexican border were buying plywood, flashlights and gasoline as Tropical Storm Dolly gained strength today over the Gulf on its way to becoming a hurricane before it hits land. Hurricane warnings were in effect for parts of the Texas and Mexico coasts, meaning hurricane conditions were expected in those areas by the end of today. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Dolly's winds were expected to strengthen before landfall to hurricane force, which would mean at least 74 mph. At 11 a.m. EDT, data from a NOAA plane indicated maximum sustained winds had increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts. Dolly was expected to make landfall later this week and bring with it high winds and up to 15 inches of rain and coastal storm surge flooding of 4 to 6 feet above normal high tide levels. Emergency officials feared major flooding problems and urged coastal residents to prepare. Gov. Rick Perry activated 1,200 National Guard troops and other emergency crews and Shell Oil said it was evacuating workers from oil rigs in the western Gulf of Mexico. Shell said it didn't expect its production to be affected by the storm. So at least this storm should not affect the prices of crude oil negatively. I hate that the hurricane will impact anywhere but I am especially glad it is not going to hit Pensacola where most of my family lives or New Orleans which is still struggling to recuperate from the damage from a few years ago. I will update on this again tomorrow.

Well that's about it for me today. How was your day? Hopefully you remembered to take some time and enjoy your life while earning a living or taking care of your health at home.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab