First College Road Trip and We Encounter HFT!

Well, Number One and I returned from our Southern College Visit Tour. I had made plans for this trip about three weeks ago, and wrote about my intention to address Five Themes That I Felt Were Important To Address With Him in our blog last month.

UNC Wilmington seems to be his first choice at the moment. There were two “kismet” moments there, actually, where we both felt the school was meant for him, and our family. First, UNCW’s Admissions Office was located in James Hall. Whoaaaaaa. Second, on our tour we walked past a finance class where the professor appeared to be giving a lecture on HFT and Arbitrage Pricing Theory. Double Whoaaaaaaaa.

Anyway, getting back to the Five Themes, we did in fact address them, and I feel fully confident that my son can opine on The Bernank and HFT at any kegger, while still wooing the ladies with his dance moves to Tears For Fears compositions.

That said, it was important to me that Number One was choosing schools to visit on this trip that were broad in range, so that he could gage what kind of school matched his aspirations, as well as his personality. With that in mind, Number One and I talked about many criteria. I asked him to think about what he wanted to do professionally. I asked him about whether he thought he wanted small class sizes, or large class sizes. We talked about easy it is to get lost in big schools unless one stays focused and disciplined. We talked about whether he thought he might want to play football or throw shot put or javelin. We talked about the value of being close to home in case he got homesick. We talked about having access to some type of church on campus. We talked about the likelihood of certain fields being critical down the road to America’s Competitiveness Globally. We talked about the importance of science and math. Finally, we talked about access to studying abroad.

It is with that last item where I think he and I had a communication breakdown.

This was the grid that I found on his computer. Notice the highlighted schools.

As a father, I am now sure of two things:

–          My son is really proficient in Math and Logic, especially in Ratio Analysis. Note how the mental algorithm he has created in his mind accounts perfectly for guy/girl ratios, chances of showing skin, and student rankings of “hotness”.

–          My son and I differ on what we think of when we hear Studying A-Broad.

Well, at least he is trying to get his grades up now. Cough. Sigh. Cough.



Where we left off 4:00pm EST:

INDU              12,086.02                                +67.39

SPX                 1,297.54                                  +3.77

CCMP             2,698.30                                  +14.43

Futures now at 7:00 am EST:

DJA                             +42 

SPA                             +6.20

NDA                           +17.75

Key Data out today:


08:30:              Initial Jobless Claims (383,000)

08:30:              Continuing Claims (expected 3,700,000)

08:30:              Durable Goods Orders (expected rise of 1.2%)


Since the prior close, some key stories:


–       Portugal PM, Socrates, hangs up his toga after budget rejected.

–       Moody’s takes ratings action on Spanish Banks. FYI… We need Moody’s to help us assess risk like a woman needs a man, or a fish needs a bicycle. Just sayin’.

–       Libor Manipulation Probe Spurs Witness Call-up at Citigroup and Deutsche Bank (Bloomberg).

–       BOJ officials state that positives from earthquake rebuilding will outweigh Japan slump.

–       The Middle East unrest continues in Syria.

–       Nuclear workers in Japan are evacuated after suffering radiation burns.

–       Fed’s Clash With Bank of America raises Questions (NYT).

–       Irish 4Q GDP falls 1.4%. Yes falls.

–       MU, PAYX, RHT all beat the street after the close.

–       FUL misses.








Significant Movers This Morning:

SBUX +5%, MU +4%, FUL -4%, ICO -3%