Money Matters - Simplified


Black Swan Hunting for 2011

This article has been adapted from our sister site across the pond, Fool U.K.

The entire point of author Nassim Taleb's ironically now ubiquitous "Black Swan" metaphor was that nobody in the white swan-strewn Old World foresaw the black version of the bird until they encountered Australia, where millions of black swans were waddling about their business.

Black Friday forecasts: Cold and crowded

Washington -- U.S. consumers can expect crowds and cold, nasty weather for the Black Friday shopping event, a trade group and predicted.

The National Retail Federation said a survey conducted by BIGrearch indicated 138 million consumers planned to shop on the day after Thanksgiving, lured to the mall or downtown by discounts meant to kick off the holiday shopping countdown .

The survey found "approximately 60 million people say they will definitely hit the stores," on Black Friday, NRF said. In addition, 78 million "are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds," NRF said in a release.

At the same time, said bundle up.

Markets exit October on a quiet note

New York -- U.S. stock indexes ended October quietly Friday, as stocks wiggled between black and red in advance of next week's Federal Reserve meeting and elections.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 4.39 points, or 0.04 percent, at 11,118.34.

The Nasdaq composite was just above even, gaining a mere 0.04 point to close at 2,507.41 points.

The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 0.52 point, or 0.04 percent, to end the session at 1,183.26 points.

Analysts said they expect the Federal Reserve will announce more stimulus plans, said.

Vet: Keep black cats inside on Halloween

Miami -- A Florida veterinarian is recommending people keep their black cats indoors around Halloween, despite evidence that many fears are unfounded.

Patty Khuly of Miami said in a USA Today article there is no statistical evidence supporting urban legends of black cats being taken for satanic practices during Halloween, or any increase in animal abuse during the season, but it's better to keep the cats inside during the season to avoid any risk.

Khuly said keeping cats and dogs inside and out of sight during Halloween can also help them avoid the stress of children and adults running around in costumes.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).