Ed’s Daily Notes for March 24th   Leave a comment

The week ahead should be fairly quiet for the overall market. The economic calendar is light, with Thursday’s final guess at 4th quarter U.S. GDP being the big report. The big earnings report will be on Tuesday, from Walgreen (WAG). We will also be getting public speeches every day from various Federal Reserve governors, so we could see some market movement in response to those.

Wall Street Journal: Apple in Talks With Comcast About Streaming-TV Service

Good news for Apple TV?

Apple Inc. is in talks with Comcast Corp. about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web, people familiar with the matter say.

The discussions between the world’s most valuable company and the nation’s largest cable provider are still in early stages and many hurdles remain. But the deal, if sealed, would mark a new level of cooperation and integration between a technology company and a cable provider to modernize TV viewing.

Apple’s intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the “cloud,” effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box.

Apple would benefit from a cable-company partner because it wants the new TV service’s traffic to be separated from public Internet traffic over the “last mile”—the portion of a cable operator’s pipes that connect to customers’ homes, the people familiar with the matter say. That stretch of the Internet tends to get clogged when too many users in a region try to access too much bandwidth at the same time.

Bloomberg: China Manufacturing Gauge Falls as Slowdown Deepens

More bad news for China:

China’s manufacturing industry weakened for a fifth straight month, according to a preliminary measure for March released today, deepening concern the nation will miss its 7.5 percent growth target this year.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics dropped to 48.1, compared with the 48.7 median estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and February’s final 48.5 figure. Numbers above 50 signal expansion.

Chinese stocks rebounded from initial losses on speculation that weakening growth will prompt policy makers to reconsider their aversion to broad stimulus measures. Leaders face a balancing act of reining in credit expansion that’s fueled the risk of loans going bad, while averting an economic slump that raises the odds of higher unemployment.

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