Before we get to the midday report, we all need to pour out a little Courvoisier (or whatever your revealed preference for drinks may be) for noted Economist Paul Samuelson who passed away at age 94 Samuelson did his best to try to bring legitimacy to the completely made up and theoretical field of study called Economics, which as every good professor will tell you does not work in the real world, like "just being friends" and Eddy Curry. Samuelson wrote the most famous textbooks on Economics and luckily he was reading one as he passed away so he died peacefully in his sleep. A big Money McBags moment of silence for Professor Samuelson.
In market news, Abu Dhabi is bailing out $10B of Dubai's debt which would be great if Dubai didn't owe another $150Bish (but why let math get in the way of a market rally?). If 14 other Dubai neighbors each pony up $10B, this should all blow over like Eliot Spitzer's dalliances. I mean nothing ever came of those, right?
As for stocks, C somehow raised enough money to pay back their TARP funds just in time to get the government off their backs so they can pay out end of year bonuses (and really, if anyone deserves a bonus this year, it is the management team of C, who never saw value they couldn't destroy. They are to banking talent what Sarah Palin is to syntax). Also, Exxon is spending $31B to buy XTO Energy, a domestic producer of natural gas. Hey Exxon, instead of dropping $30B on XTO, how about just giving me $10MM and I'll stop off at Taco Bell daily, order 5 bean burritos, and give you all the natural gas you need. That's right Exxon, I got your natural gas right here. OH!