May 4, 2009
Posted: 1819 GMT
Is it just human enthusiasm and the desire to leave bad times behind that keeps getting investors so excited?
After all, there are as many bad economic indicators as there are good ones. Yet at the smallest twinkle of the possibilty that the economy might be rebounding, stock markets jump as if we'd confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt that we've reached bottom.
Today, it's a surprise number in the housing market. Pending home sales figures are better than expected and builders spent more on construction than what markets had anticipated.
Also, the Italian carmaker Fiat, after increasing its stake in Chrysler lat week, is now merging its car division with General Motors' European auto unit.
Soon, it will be Fiat-Opel, a European car behemoth. Markets are loving that idea (but what aren't they loving these days?)
But the question is: does the marriage make sense? In the car industry today, it's adapt or die. Will Fiat/Opel (plus Saab and Vauxhall) make sense? Will cars coming out of the new merged entity sell well? We'll ask Lauren Fix, a woman known as the "car coach," for her take on it all.
We will also be looking at the latest from Afghanistan/Pakistan. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said today that America's focus has to shift immediately from Iraq to Afghanistan. The urgency comes from the fact that the Taliban and the insurgency in Afghanistan are making territotial gains. In Pakistan, they're moving closer to the capital.
We'll go live to Kabul and to the Pentagon for the latest.
Also today, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will soon be a bachelor. And he and his future ex are lashing out at each other in the newspapers; the wife accusing the perma-tanned premier of flirting with teenagers and the husband demanding public apologies from his spouse. We'll take a look at the drama and tell you how Italians are reacting to the whole thing.
Plus the rest of the day's top news stories, as always.
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