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Eyes Turn to Apollo Group as Recession's Lessons Linger


Educator's earnings seen as broader economic barometer.

Minyanville Morning Memo

One to Watch: Attention shifts from New York's Apollo Theatre to Apollo Group's (APOL) earnings. The educator will come out with its third quarter results after the close. With responsible citizens sensibly striving to better themselves in an economic downturn by brandishing an additional degree -- or, less charitably, perpetual student types looking to ride/hide out the recession in ivy -- the stock is an important broader barometer. Being the sector's biggest name, Apollo should benefit from such trends but today's results may represent a high water mark as an improving economy (eventually) means more payrolls and fewer student rolls.

What Just Happened: With Boeing (BA) going decidedly down the Dow endured its first fortnightly skid since March. Concerns on the economy picked up and the thrift paradox gained ground again as our savings rate rose to a 15-year high. Interest rates, if not Ben Bernanke's blood pressure, remained unchanged. And it was a costly subway series for more than Mets fans: as of yesterday you'll have to dig deeper to go below ground in Gotham, which may not have huge inflation implications overall, but historically bodes ill for the price of a pizza.

What's Happening: After Asia ended, mixed Europe is trading up. Back to the futures here at home: After bouncing around, US equity markets are currently indicating a higher open. The dollar is gaining ground, as is oil -- as millions of Americans prepare to hit the road this week.

What Will Happen: It was doubtless an interesting Weekend at Bernie's. Madoff is enjoying his last days of freedom ahead of a sentencing hearing which starts at 10:00 AM Eastern today. No major economic releases are out, but expect earnings from H&R Block (HRB) and Cintas (CTAS).

Happenstance: Today begins a lightly traded, holiday-shortened week. Beware companies who'd bury bad news in such a scenario.
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