Money Matters - Simplified


This Week's 5 Dumbest Stock Moves

 Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let's take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.


Michael Douglas undergoing cancer therapy

New York -- What began as an irritating sore throat turned out to be Stage 4 throat cancer, U.S. actor Michael Douglass revealed on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

"I got cancer," the Oscar-winning actor said Tuesday during a promotional tour for "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

Douglas said he underwent his first round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment last week, noting, "It's about an eight-week struggle."

Douglas said he learned he had cancer about three weeks ago, joking that it was about the time he was booked to appear on Letterman's show. He said he went through "a litany of doctors and tests" without success before the cancer was diagnosed after he and his family returned from a vacation in Europe.

Tatum, Ryan O'Neal eye reality show

Los Angeles -- Formerly estranged father-daughter celebrities Tatum and Ryan O'Neal plan to work out their differences on a new U.S. reality show, Variety said. said the co-stars of 1973's "Paper Moon" steered clear of each other for 25 years, largely due to Tatum's allegations of emotional and physical abuse against her father.

When Tatum attended last year's funeral for Ryan's longtime companion, actress Farrah Fawcett, he reportedly didn't recognize her and tried to ask her out for a date until she set him straight.

Variety said the pair would live together in Ryan's Malibu home for the planned docu-soap.

"Lost and Found" is to follow them as they go on auditions and dates, as well as to therapy sessions, said.

FDA: Stem cell trial can proceed

Washington -- The Food and Drug Administration has given approval to proceed with the world's first human clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell-based therapy.

Geron Corp., headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., says it will proceed with its trial of GRNOPC1, a stem-cell therapy intended to treat patients with acute spinal cord injury, a company release said Friday.

AIDS gene therapy may help cancer, HIV

Duarte, Calif. -- U.S. medical researchers say they have demonstrated the first successful gene therapy in patients with AIDS-related lymphoma.

City of Hope researchers in California said their study showed the long-term persistence of anti-HIV genes in patients with the AIDS-related cancer.

In the investigational therapy, patients underwent autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation in which their own blood stem cells were harvested, genetically engineered with three ribonucleic acids that block the human immunodeficiency virus from infecting new cells and then returned to them.

Psychological therapy aids bowel disease

Athens, Ga. -- U.S. psychologists say cognitive-behavioral therapy can reduce physical symptoms and improve coping strategies involved with inflammatory bowel disease.

Teenagers with IBD, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, often have serious trouble coping with the disorders, the researchers said. But the new psychological treatment intervention program developed at the University of Georgia shows promise of reducing physical symptoms and increasing adaptive coping strategies.

The study on the effectiveness of the coping skills intervention involved 24 female teenagers age 11-17.

New therapy found for erectile dysfunction

Chicago -- U.S. researchers say they've discovered a therapy that might be able to preserve erectile function following prostate cancer surgery.

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine scientists say up to 80 percent of men undergoing the procedure will lose the ability to have an erection because of damage to a critical nerve that runs along the prostate. But the new study suggests the damaged nerve can be regenerated more quickly with a protein called sonic hedgehog, delivered via a nanofiber gel.

FDA approves Novartis' first oral multiple sclerosis drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel approved the first line treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) Gilenia is the first oral drug that Novaritis, a German drug maker, would sell under this brand name.

Researchers develop new leukemia therapy

Gainesville, Fla. -- U.S. oncologists say they've developed a therapy that targets not only leukemia cells, but also the blood vessels that supply the cancer cells with nutrients.

University of Florida researchers say the new drug, Oxi4503, poisons leukemia cells and destroys the blood vessels that supply them with oxygen and nutrients. They said the agent was successful in the treatment of mouse models of acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML, and human tests are expected to begin later this year.

Gene therapy created for heart failure

New York -- Mount Sinai School of Medicine scientists in New York say they've developed a gene therapy that's safe and effective in reversing advanced heart failure.

The researchers said the therapy, called Mydicar, is designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the failing heart to pump more effectively. In a Phase II study, injection of the gene SERCA2a through a routine, minimally invasive cardiac catheterization was safe and showed clinical benefit in treating and decreasing the severity of heart failure.